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Safety Grants

We provide traffic safety grants to local governments, Pennsylvania State-related universities and Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities, and nonprofit organizations to improve highway safety and reduce deaths and serious injuries due to crashes.

The grant program utilizes federal funding authorized under 23 U.S.C. 402 and 23 U.S.C. 405 and administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The program is structured on the federal fiscal year, which runs Oct. 1-Sept. 30. Grant opportunities reflect evidence-based countermeasures proven to address the most critical traffic safety needs identified through data analysis. Available funds are distributed to projects using allocation formulas based on crash data.

Grants Overview

Funds identified for state agencies are distributed through Notice of Subgrant or Transfer Agreements. Grant to local political subdivisions and nonprofit organizations are administered through the department's dotGrants electronic grants management system. Use of funds is restricted by the requirements of federal legislation and Pennsylvania Title 75.

Grant applications must address critical safety needs based on analysis of crash data as the principal basis for programs. Data analysis and problem identification is the foundation for each project and will determine the structure and accuracy of the goals, activities, measures and evaluation efforts for the duration of the project period. Analysis might include multiple years of crash injury and fatality data; license, registration and conviction data; as well as demographic and other data from various sources. Data should be graphically represented to identify safety problems and support subsequent development of goals and activities. The application must clearly identify and define problems and relate this data to broad program area goals and specific countermeasures to be implemented.

Eligibility

Eligible applicants vary for each grant opportunity but generally include state and local* governments, Pennsylvania State-related universities and Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities, and nonprofit organizations with existing IRS 501(c)(3) status. See specific grant opportunities for additional information concerning eligibility.

*Local governments means a county, municipality, city, town, township, local public authority (including public and Indian housing agency under the United States Housing Act of 1937), council of governments (whether or not incorporated as a nonprofit corporation under state law), and other regional or interstate government entity, or any agency or instrumentality of a local government.

Minimum Qualifications for Applications

  • Deliver services promptly.
  • Manage public funds efficiently and ethically.
  • Collaborate with other community, governmental and private organizations.
  • Develop data-driven problem solving plans.
  • Develop measurable goals based on multi-year data.
  • Adequately evaluate the success of a project.
  • Have an approved Electronic Access Licensing Agreement (EALA) to access the dotGrants online grant management system.
  • In the case that the application writer is not directly employed by the submitting agency with the approved EALA, a dotGrants Access Delegation Form must be completed.
  • Have a Certification of Responsibility Determination (Commonwealth Contractor Responsibility Program DOT Certification).
  • Have an approved Lobbying Certification Form (if applicable).
  • Have a resolution adopted by an applicable governing body during a public meeting.
  • Have an established Central Vendor Management Unit (CVMU) number and SAP Partner number (if applicable).
  • Upon grant award, use email, telephone and other technology to stay in periodic contact with assigned PennDOT program manager and assigned Regional Comprehensive Planning Team and to answer inquiries and requests from the general public.
  • Have an approved PCIT Legal Agreement to access PCIT Restricted Access sections on file before the start of the grant term. This restricted section will provide crash data resources and tools beneficial for building proposals, monitoring law enforcement participation under the Commonwealth’s highway safety program and for planning activities related to both finalized and emerging crash data trends.
  • Utilization of PennDOT's grant management system, dotGrants, is required by all successful non-state government applicants, for all grant administrative interactions.

Funding

  • Project funding will be provided under the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance numbers 20.600 (23 U.S.C. §402) and 20.616 (23 U.S.C. §405).
  • As the grant term covers two federal fiscal years, applicants must develop separate budgets for FFY 2021 and 2022 within their proposals to align with federal reporting requirements.
  • Program budgets utilize an allocation formula based on reportable crashes.
  • These are cost-reimbursement grants. The grantee must pay 100 percent of all costs associated with the grant award. Reimbursement claims are submitted to PennDOT, reviewed for eligibility, and forwarded to the department's Comptroller’s Office for payment. No payments in advance or in anticipation of goods or services will be made by PennDOT.
  • Single item purchases in excess of $5,000, the hiring of personnel and out-of-state travel will require substantial justification. Costs incurred under any project to be considered eligible for federal reimbursement shall be submitted for processing within 30 days after the completion of the grant period.
  • Single item purchases over $500 need PennDOT pre-approval even if they are approved in the initial approved budget.

dotGrants

All successful non-state government applicants are required to utilize PennDOT's electronic grants management system, dotGrants.

Federal Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Local Grant Opportunities*

For additional information regarding FFY 2021-2022 Local Grant Opportunities, contact the identified PennDOT Program Manager.

1. Community Traffic Safety Project
 
Traffic safety educational outreach programs to schools and communities targeting local safety issues identified through data analysis. Provide support towards national and statewide enforcement mobilizations and other programs.

PennDOT Contact:  Chris Swihura, Local Safety Programs Manager (717-705-1706; cswihura@pa.gov)

2. Municipal Police Traffic Services Enforcement Program

Coordination of local police participation in impaired driving, occupant protection, aggressive driving, and pedestrian safety enforcement countermeasures, including officer overtime, necessary equipment purchases, and associated training.

PennDOT Contact:  Troy Love, Police Traffic Services Program Manager (717-783-1902; trlove@pa.gov)
 
3. DUI Courts Program
 
Development and facilitation of a DUI Court system, including judicial training in the area of DUI courts, establishment of new probation officers to monitor DUI court participants, and necessary equipment.
 
PennDOT Contact:  Troy Love, Police Traffic Services Program Manager (717-783-1902; trlove@pa.gov)
 
4. Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor
 
Coordination of the Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor position in accordance with national and state guidelines in support of the Commonwealth’s Highway Safety Program.
 
PennDOT Contact:  Troy Love, Police Traffic Services Program Manager (717-783-1902; trlove@pa.gov)
 
5. Judicial Outreach Liaison (JOL) Program
 
Coordination of the Judicial Outreach Liaison position in accordance with national and state guidelines in support of the Commonwealth’s Highway Safety Program.
 
PennDOT Contact:  Troy Love, Police Traffic Services Program Manager (717-783-1902; trlove@pa.gov)
 
6. Statewide DUI Program Coordination
 
Coordination of technical services in support of the Commonwealth's Impaired Driving Program, including specialized training and statewide coordination of the Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) Program.
 
PennDOT Contact:  Troy Love, Police Traffic Services Program Manager (717-783-1902; trlove@pa.gov)
 
7. Statewide Traffic Records Program Support
 
Coordination of activities designed to assist PennDOT with supporting Pennsylvania Police Agency crash report filing in addition to other services as identified.
 
PennDOT Contact:  Troy Love, Police Traffic Services Program Manager (717-783-1902; trlove@pa.gov)

8. Statewide Law Enforcement Liaison Program Coordination (PTS)

Provides administrative and technical support for state and local law enforcement participation in grant-funded enforcement operations in alignment with National Law Enforcement Liaison Program standards and best practices.

PennDOT Contact:  Troy Love, Police Traffic Services Program Manager (717-783-1902; trlove@pa.gov)

*Additional grant opportunities may be offered throughout the year based on funding availability and approval by PennDOT and NHTSA.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Whom do I contact with questions regarding registering for the dotGrants system?

PennDOT program managers are identified for each grant opportunity and should be contacted for assistance with the dotGrants system.

2. Whom do I contact with questions regarding additional grant information and/or completing the application?

PennDOT program managers are identified for each grant opportunity and should be contacted for additional information and/or assistance with the dotGrants system.

3. Whom do I contact for general questions related to the Highway Safety Program?

General questions related to the Pennsylvania Highway Safety Program should be directed to Tom Glass, Program Services Unit Manager (717-783-2113; thglass@pa.gov).

4. What is the process for an application to be created, approved and submitted to PennDOT?

Applicants interested in specific grant opportunities should contact the identified PennDOT program manager for additional information. Upon successful registration with the dotGrants system, applications can be created electronically for submission to PennDOT during the identified application period. Once the deadline for submission of proposals has closed, PennDOT will begin evaluating and scoring proposals based on established criteria. Applicants will be notified if the proposal was successful, rejected or successful pending revisions.

5. When are grant applications due?

All grant applications are due by May 31st. Additional opportunities may be offered throughout the year based on funding availability and approval by PennDOT and NHTSA.

6. What are Proven or Evidence-Based Countermeasures?

Research and evaluation studies have validated the effectiveness of certain strategies for improving traffic safety. These strategies are considered "Proven" or "Evidence-Based" and are given highest priority when selecting successful applications.

Proposals that include an innovative demonstration project/activity for which no research exists to support its effectiveness must contain a strong evaluation plan to assess the effectiveness of the project at its conclusion.

7. What is "match" funding?

Matching or cost sharing means the value of an agency's in-kind contributions that are separate from federally funded projects.

8. What can be included in "match"?

A match requirement cannot be met by funding from another federal grant. In addition, the funding cannot be counted toward satisfying a matching requirement for a different federal grant agreement. The organization's project director for the grant is responsible for making sure the matching amount is verifiable and must maintain records for three years starting on the date of the final claim for reimbursement.

9. What are grant agreement conditions?

Grant agreement conditions are required components of a fully executed grant agreement. These conditions outline the rules that apply to all grants and include:

  • Federal Audit Clause
  • Federal Non-discrimination Clause
  • Commonwealth Non-discrimination Clause
  • Contractor Integrity Provision
  • Certification of Restrictions on Lobbying
  • Commonwealth Right to Know Law Provisions
  • Grantee Certifications and Assurances
  • Other applicable Federal and State conditions as identified

10. What is a CFDA number?

These numbers are used for financial reporting of grants. CFDA is an abbreviation for the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. A list of all programs can be found at: https://www.cfda.gov.

11. How are grants selected?

Competitive grants are selected based on the results of a scoring team and program manager review. Grant proposals are scored on seven key areas:

  • Problem Statement
  • Alignment to Strategic Focus Areas and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration goals
  • Program Activities
  • Measurement of Results/Evaluation/Effectiveness
  • Past Performance
  • Agency/Personnel Qualifications
  • Proposed Budget

Non-competitive grants utilize an allocation formula based on crash data to proactively identify geographic locations/jurisdictions for project implementation.

12. What documentation is required when the grant involves a contract, subgrant or Notice of Subgrant?

Grantees shall follow state and federal law and procedures when awarding and administering contracts, subgrants or Notices of Subgrants of financial assistance to local governments and other vendors. Grantees shall:

  • Ensure that every contract, subgrant or Notice of Subgrant includes clauses required by state and federal statute and executive orders and their implanting regulations.
  • Ensure that contractors, subgrantees or Notice of Subgrant recipients are aware of requirements imposed upon them by state and federal statute and regulation.
  • Ensure that a provisions for compliance with 49 CFR part 18.42 is placed in every cost reimbursement contract, subgrant or Notice of Subgrant.
  • Ensure that procedures are established for routine monitoring and auditing of contracts, subgrants or Notices of Subgrants.
  • In accordance with 2 CFR §200.331(b), a Pre-Award Risk Assessment must be completed before establishing subgrants, evaluating each subrecipient's risk of noncompliance with Federal statutues, regulations and the terms and conditions of the subaward for purposes of determining the appropriate subrecipient monitoring. Review factors should include:
    • The subrecipient's prior experience;
    • The results of previous audits;
    • Whether the subrecipient has new personnel or new or substantially changed systems; and
    • The extent and results of federal and state awarding agency monitoring.
The sponsoring agency is ultimately responsible for delivery of the activities in the application and finances. Contractors, subgrantees and Notice of Subgrant recipients should keep the sponsoring agency informed of any changes needed to the project deliverables, budget, etc.

A copy of the agreement between the sponsoring agency and the contractor, subgrantee or Notice of Subgrant recipient must be submitted to PennDOT for review prior to the contractor, subgrantee or Notice of Subgrant recipient incurring any cost.

13. What documentation is required when the grant involves equipment or software purchases?

All purchases over $500 require PennDOT approval even if they are approved in the initial approved budget. If the purchase is between $500 and $5,000 an Equipment Inventory form must be submitted for any items with a useful life of more than one year. Purchases for items over $5,000 will require substantial justification and are to be included in the budget of the approved grant proposal.

14. Is any other documentation required?

Any supporting documentation such as receipts, invoices, bill of services rendered, and notification of any or all costs associated with the purchase(s).
 
15. What types of costs are allowable under the grants?

Examples of allowable costs include:
  • Implementation of strategies to address traffic safety problems
  • Public education campaigns
  • Equipment and materials
  • Training and travel directly related to project goals 
16. What costs are not allowable for reimbursement?

Examples of un-allowable costs include:
  • Costs that do not fall within appropriate state and federal funding regulations
  • Funds for office furniture, gifts, entertainment, roadway construction, or roadway maintenance
  • Supplanting—using funds to replace routine or existing State and local expenditures or using these funds to conduct activities required by statute 
If it is discovered by PennDOT that grant funds were spent on unallowable items the grantee agency will be responsible to reimburse the department.
 
17. Where can I find grant reporting forms?

Regional project administrators will provide forms at the beginning of the grant period.
 
18. When are claims for reimbursement due?

Claims can be submitted throughout the grant year. All claims must be submitted no later than 30 days after the completion of the grant period (October 30th).
 
19. What if I am late submitting a claim for reimbursement?

Special consideration will be given on a case by case basis for all reimbursements submitted after the deadline (October 30th). If a grantee suspects they will need more time to prepare and submit a claim for reimbursement, then notice must be given to the grant manager for prior approval.