The South Carolina Department of Public Safety's Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs (OHSJP) is charged with the responsibility of the administration of the federally-funded State and Community Highway Safety (Section 402) Program and coordination of highway safety activities throughout the state on behalf of the Office of the Governor. The State and Community Highway Safety Program originated under the Highway Safety Act of 1966 and continues today under the authorization of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law). The Act authorized $550 billion over fiscal years 2022 through 2026 for new spending on the nation’s infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and mass transit.
Through the State and Community Highway Safety Program, South Carolina administers $7-$10 million in Highway Safety grant funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the US Department of Transportation each year. These funds, as well as other pools of federal funds for which the state may qualify or apply and receive, are used to assist, via grants, eligible entities in carrying out specific programs that will have a direct impact in improving driver behavior and reducing the number of traffic-related collisions, injuries, and fatalities. Highway Safety grant funds are awarded to qualified applicants to create new or expand existing highway safety programs, with the intention that such initiatives continue when grant funding is discontinued. Applications for Highway Safety grant funds must be submitted to the OHSJP by the scheduled deadline in February and must provide evidence of being cost-effective. They must describe in detail the highway safety problem to be addressed, project approach and methodology, goals and objectives of the project, evaluation measures, and implementation schedule; a detailed description of the proposed budget must also be submitted. The grant funding cycle is normally from October 1 - September 30. Only State agencies, political subdivisions (city/county governments), private, non-profit organizations listed as 501(c)3, and State, local and federally-recognized Indian tribal governments are eligible for grants under this program.
The current authorization for the State and Community Highway Safety Grant Program, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, was signed into law on November 21, 2021. It requires the Highway Safety Plan (HSP) to provide for an equitable and data-driven traffic safety enforcement program to prevent traffic violations, collisions, and collision fatalities and injuries in areas of the state most at risk for such incidents. Recognizing the importance of meaningful community engagement in designing an equitable and data-driven traffic safety program, the OHSJP seeks and welcomes community input as we develop our triennial HSP. If you would like to speak with us about the highway safety issues occurring in your community, please contact us at 803-896-9950.