[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 4 (Thursday, January 7, 1999)]
[Pages 1062-1067]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-268]



National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Discretionary Incentive Grants To Support Increased Seat Belt Use 

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Announcement of discretionary grants to support innovative seat 
belt projects designed to increase seat belt use rates.


SUMMARY: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 
announces a discretionary grant program under Section 1403 of the 
Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century to provide funding to 
States for innovative projects to increase seat belt use rates. The 
goal of this program is to increase seat belt use to a high level in 
States across the nation in order to reduce the deaths, injuries, and 
societal costs that result from motor vehicle crashes. This notice 
solicits applications from the States, through their Governors' 
Representatives for Highway Safety, for funds to be made available in 
fiscal year 2000.

DATES: Applications must be submitted to the office designated below on 
or before April 7, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Applications must be submitted to the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration, Office of Contracts and Procurement 
(NAD-30), ATTN: Amy Poling, 400 7th Street, SW, Room 5301, Washington, 
DC 20590. All applications submitted must include a reference to NHTSA 
Grant Program No. DTNH22-99-G-05050.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: General administrative questions may 
be directed to Amy Poling, Office of Contracts and Procurement at (202) 
366-9552. Programmatic questions relating to this grant program should 
be directed to Phil Gulak, Occupant Protection Division (NTS-12), 
NHTSA, 400 7th Street, SW, Room 5118, Washington, DC 20590, by e-mail 
at [email protected], or by phone at (202) 366-2725. Interested 
applicants are advised that no separate application package exists 
beyond the contents of this announcement.



    On June 9, 1998, Congress enacted the Transportation Equity Act for 
the 21st Century (TEA-21). Section 1403 of TEA-21 contains a new safety 
incentive grant program for use of seat belts. Under this program, 
funds are allocated each fiscal year from 1999 until 2003 to States 
that exceed the national average seat belt use rate or that improve 
their State seat belt use rate, based on certain required 
determinations and findings. Beginning in fiscal year 2000, any funds 
remaining unallocated in a fiscal year after the determinations and 
findings related to seat belt use rates are to be used to ``make 
allocations to States to carry out innovative projects to promote 
increased seat belt use rates.'' Today's notice solicits applications 
for funds that will become available in fiscal year 2000 under this 
latter provision.
    TEA-21 imposes several requirements under the innovative projects 
funding provision. Specifically, in order to be eligible to receive an 
allocation, a State must develop a plan for innovative projects to 
promote increased seat belt use rates and submit the plan to the 
Secretary of Transportation (by delegation, to NHTSA) by March 1. (TEA-
21 contemplated issuance of this guidance by December 1, 1998, which 
would have allowed the States 90 days for submission of plans by March 
1, 1999. In order to afford the States the full 90-day period, NHTSA 
will accept applications until April 7, 1999. NHTSA is directed to 
establish criteria governing the selection of State plans that are to 
receive allocations and is further directed to ``ensure, to the maximum 
extent practicable, demographic and geographic diversity and a 
diversity of seat belt use rates among the States selected for 
allocations.'' Finally, subject to the availability of funds, TEA-21 
provides that the amount of each grant under a State plan is to be not 
less than $100,000.
    In the following sections, the agency describes the application and 
award procedures for receipt of funds under this provision, including 
requirements related to the contents of a State's plan for innovative 
projects and the criteria the agency will use to evaluate State plans 
and make selections for award. In order to assist the States in 
formulating plans that meet these criteria, we have provided an 
extensive discussion of strategies for increasing seat belt use and of 
the ways in which States might demonstrate innovation.

Objective of This Grant Program

    Seat belts, when properly used, are 45 percent effective in 
preventing deaths in potentially fatal crashes and 50 percent effective 
in preventing serious injuries. No other safety device has as much 
potential for immediately preventing deaths and injuries in motor 
vehicle crashes. The current level of seat belt use across the nation 
prevents more than 9,500 deaths and well over 200,000 injuries 
annually. Through 1997, more than 100,000 deaths and an estimated 2.5 
million serious injuries have been prevented by seat belt use.
    But, seat belt use rates and the resulting savings could be much 
greater. As of 1998, the average use rate among States in the U.S. is 
still well below the goal of 85 percent announced by the President for 
the year 2000 and at least a dozen States have use rates below 60 
percent. On the other hand, use rates of 85-95 percent are a reality in 
most developed nations with seat belt use laws, and at least six U.S. 
States and the District of Columbia achieved use rates greater than 80 
percent in 1998. A national use rate of 90 percent (the President's 
goal for 2005), among front seat occupants of all passenger vehicles, 
would result in the prevention of an additional 5,500 deaths and 
130,000 serious injuries annually. This would translate into a $9 
billion reduction in societal costs, including $356 million for 
Medicare and Medicaid.
    The objective of this grant program is to increase seat belt use 
rates, for both adults and children, by supporting the implementation 
of innovative projects that build upon strategies known to be effective 
in increasing seat belt use rates. Because one of the best ways to 
ensure that children develop a habit of buckling up is for parents to 
properly restrain them in child safety seats, efforts to increase the 
use of child safety seats may be included among the innovative efforts 
in a State's plan.
    Recent seat belt use increases in California, North Carolina, 
Louisiana, Georgia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia (see 
discussion in next section), as well as increases following national 
mobilizations (Operation ABC, conducted in May and November of 1998), 
have demonstrated the

[[Page 1063]]

tremendous potential of highly visible enforcement of strong laws to 
increase seat belt and child seat use. Given the dramatic results of 
these programs, NHTSA believes that highly visible enforcement is an 
important foundation upon which any effective program should be based. 
An extensive review of the efforts in both the United States and Canada 
demonstrates that, without a core of highly visible enforcement 
efforts, high usage rates have not been achieved in any major 
jurisdiction. (Some of that literature is reviewed in the next 
    In view of these findings, to be considered for award of funds 
under this program, the State's innovative project plan should be based 
on a core component of highly visible enforcement of its seat belt use 
law. Other components of the plan should support the core enforcement 
component. If a State is already pursuing a significant and visible 
enforcement effort, the innovative project plan should detail 
components that support, expand, or complement the existing enforcement 
effort. States submitting an innovative project plan with a core 
component (and supporting components) based on an approach other than 
enforcement should provide a strong rationale for the proposed 
approach, preferably accompanied by research evidence, demonstrating 
the significant potential for increasing seat belt use across the 
State. NHTSA will carefully consider this rationale in its evaluation 
of the proposal.

Strategies That Have Proven To Be Effective in Increasing Seat Belt 

    The history of efforts to increase seat belt use in the U.S. and in 
Canada suggests that highly visible enforcement of a strong seat belt 
law must be at the core of any effective program. No State has ever 
achieved a high seat belt use rate without such a component. Most 
States that have achieved rates greater than 70 percent have also had 
laws that allow for primary (standard) enforcement procedures.
    Canada currently has a national seat belt use rate well above 90 
percent. Nearly every province first attempted to increase seat belt 
use through voluntary approaches involving public information and 
education. These efforts were effective in achieving only very modest 
usage rates (no higher than 30 percent). Even the enactment of primary 
enforcement seat belt laws, without intense and highly visible 
enforcement, generally was not sufficient to achieve usage rates 
greater than 60-65 percent. By 1985, it became clear to Canadian and 
provincial officials that additional efforts would be needed to achieve 
levels of 80 percent or greater. These efforts, mounted from 1985 
through 1995, centered around highly publicized ``waves'' of 
enforcement, a technique that had already been shown to increase seat 
belt use in Elmira, New York. When these procedures were implemented in 
the Canadian provinces, seat belt use generally increased from about 60 
percent to well over 80 percent, within a period of 3-5 years.
    The U.S. experience has been similar. Prior to 1980, many attempts 
were made to increase seat belt use through voluntary, persuasive, or 
educational methods. Most of these efforts were initiated at local, 
county, or state levels. Nationally, seat belt use remained very low, 
reaching only about 11 percent. From 1980-1984, efforts to increase 
seat belt use emphasized networking with various public and private 
groups to implement public education programs, incentives, and seat 
belt use policies. While there were some small gains documented in 
individual organizations, these efforts did not result in any 
significant increases in seat belt use in any large city or in any 
State. By the end of 1984, the national usage rate, as measured by a 
19-city observational survey, was only about 15 percent.
    In 1984, New York enacted the first mandatory seat belt use law 
and, from 1985 to 1990, at least 37 other States enacted such laws. 
Most of these laws were secondary enforcement laws that required an 
officer to observe another traffic violation before stopping and citing 
a driver for failure to wear a seat belt. During this period of time, 
the 19-city index of seat belt use increased from about 15 percent to 
nearly 50 percent. However, as was the case in Canada, the enactment of 
laws, by itself, was not sufficient to achieve high usage rates.
    The Canadian successes using periodic, highly visible ``waves'' of 
enforcement, as well as scores of such efforts implemented in local 
jurisdictions in the U.S., prompted NHTSA to implement Operation Buckle 
Down (also called the ``70 by '92'' Program) in 1991. This two-year 
program focused on Special Traffic Enforcement Programs (STEPs) to 
increase seat belt use. It was followed by a national usage rate 
increase from about 53 percent in 1990 to 62 percent by the end of 1992 
(as measured by a weighted aggregate of State surveys). Neither the 
level of enforcement nor its public visibility was uniform in every 
State. Had these ``waves'' of enforcement been implemented in a more 
uniform fashion in every state, the impact would likely have been much 
    In order to demonstrate the potential of periodic, highly visible 
enforcement in a more controlled environment, the State of North 
Carolina implemented its Click-It or Ticket program in 1993. In this 
program, waves of coordinated and highly publicized enforcement efforts 
(i.e., checkpoints) were implemented in every county. As a result, seat 
belt use increased statewide, from 65 percent to over 80 percent, in 
just a few months. This program provided the clearest possible evidence 
to demonstrate the potential of highly visible enforcement to increase 
seat belt use in a large jurisdiction (i.e., an entire State).
    On the west coast, the State of California expended much effort 
over the years to enforce its secondary enforcement law. These efforts 
were successful in increasing the statewide usage rate to about 70 
percent, where it plateaued. In 1993, California became the first state 
to upgrade its seat belt law from secondary to primary enforcement. As 
a result, the rate of seat belt usage increased by 13 percentage points 
(from 70 percent to 83 percent) in the first year after the law was 
    The California success was a major factor in rekindling interest 
among safety officials to upgrade their secondary enforcement laws as a 
way to increase seat belt use. In 1995, Louisiana became the second 
State to upgrade from secondary to primary enforcement. As a result, it 
experienced an 18 percentage point increase (from 50 percent to 68 
percent) over the next two years. Next, Georgia upgraded its law and 
experienced a 15 percentage point increase (from 53 percent to 68 
percent). After mounting a highly visible enforcement effort in 1998 
(Operation Strap 'N Snap), Georgia's usage increased by another 10 
percentage points. Similarly, Maryland upgraded its seat belt law in 
1997, immediately mounted a two-month enforcement effort, and 
experienced a 13 percentage point increase in usage. Most recently, the 
District of Columbia reported a 24 percentage point gain in usage (from 
58% to 82%) after enacting one of the strongest seat belt use laws in 
the nation and implementing several waves of highly visible 
enforcement. Taken together, the experiences of North Carolina, 
California, Louisiana, Georgia, Maryland and the District of Columbia 
have clearly demonstrated that highly visible enforcement of strong 
laws has tremendous potential for increasing seat belt use rates.
    Visible enforcement of strong laws also appears to be an essential

[[Page 1064]]

component of any effective program to increase the use of child safety 
seats. This is important since, as previously discussed, early use of 
child safety seats contributes to the later use of seat belts by 
children and young adults. The relationship between child safety seat 
use and seat belt use works in the opposite direction as well. Studies 
conducted in several States have found that child safety seat use is 
nearly three times as high when a driver is buckled up as when a driver 
is not buckled up. Thus, efforts to persuade adults to buckle up may be 
the single most important way to get young children protected. However, 
with child safety seats, correct use is a major concern and the 
training of police officers, parents, and advocates is needed to 
minimize incorrect use and to ensure age-appropriate graduation to seat 
belts among young children who have outgrown safety seats. Clearly, 
efforts to increase the use of seat belts and child safety seats are 
interdependent and complementary.
    Prior to the 1977 passage of the Child Passenger Safety (CPS) law 
in Tennessee, very little progress was made to get young children 
buckled up. Nationally, child safety seat use was less than 15 percent 
at the time. However, the Tennessee law was followed by the enactment 
of primary enforcement CPS laws in all States by 1985. This wave of 
legislation resulted in a major increase in child restraint use. By 
1990, usage was estimated to be above 80 percent for infants and about 
60 percent for toddlers.
    Unfortunately, problems such as child seat misuse, premature 
graduation to seat belt use, and variation in age coverage continue to 
exist. The most recent issue to emerge has been the potential danger 
posed by passenger side air bags to unrestrained and improperly 
restrained children. This has led to a new emphasis on programs to 
increase the proper use of child restraint seats and revitalized law 
enforcement efforts in this area.

Obstacles to Increasing Seat Belt Use

    Over the years, all of the States and many public and private 
sector organizations have been active participants in efforts to 
increase seat belt use. Public information and education efforts have 
been the dominant programs funded over the past two decades. Many 
States have identified major obstacles to enacting primary seat belt 
laws or implementing highly visible enforcement programs, even though 
such programs have been shown to result in high usage rates. Most 
frequently, State (and local) officials have identified a lack of 
resources for law enforcement as the single greatest barrier to 
implementing more intense, highly visible enforcement efforts. This 
lack of resources extends to funding, human resources, and public 
information support to conduct such campaigns. Over the past five 
years, many officials have indicated that, if they had the kind of 
resources provided to States like North Carolina for the Click It or 
Ticket program, they too would be able to mount similar programs and 
achieve similar results. The significant amount of funding likely to 
become available under this grant program, combined with the additional 
new resources available under other TEA-21 programs, should drastically 
reduce this obstacle.
    The second most frequently mentioned obstacle to mounting highly 
visible enforcement programs is a lack of support from key State and 
local leaders. Experience with the national mobilizations (Operation 
ABC) and with jurisdictions such as North Carolina, Georgia, Maryland 
and the District of Columbia suggest that this obstacle can be overcome 
to a significant degree by proactive efforts to gain the understanding, 
support and endorsement of various public and private organizations. 
Including a broad spectrum of such organizations as coalition members 
in the State's occupant protection program can be very effective in 
obtaining the commitment of key persons (e.g., the governor) and in 
gaining the support that is essential for sustained, highly visible 
enforcement efforts. Much innovation can be demonstrated in the way of 
developing public and official support for strong enforcement efforts.
    Another obstacle frequently voiced by State and local enforcement 
officials is a lack of judicial and prosecutorial support for the 
enforcement of seat belt and child passenger safety laws. It has 
frequently been pointed out that an enforcement program can be 
undermined quickly if prosecutors fail to prosecute seat belt and child 
safety seat citations and judges repeatedly dismiss such cases. This 
can be overcome to some extent by educating prosecutors and judges 
across the State and urging them to value occupant protection laws as 
highly as any other traffic safety law.

Buckle Up America Campaign

    In October 1997, the Buckle Up America (BUA) Campaign established 
ambitious national goals: (a) To increase seat belt use to 85 percent 
and reduce child-related fatalities (0-4 years) by 15 percent by the 
year 2000; and (b) to increase seat belt use to 90 percent and reduce 
child-related fatalities by 25 percent by the year 2005. This Campaign 
advocates a four part strategy: (1) Building public-private 
partnerships; (2) enacting strong legislation; (3) maintaining high 
visibility law enforcement; (4) and conducting effective public 
education. Central to this Campaign's success is the encouragement of 
primary seat belt use laws and the implementation of two major 
enforcement mobilizations each year (Memorial Day and Thanksgiving 
holidays). During the 1998 mobilizations conducted throughout the week 
surrounding Memorial Day and the week surrounding Thanksgiving, between 
4,000 and 5,000 law enforcement agencies participated in Operation ABC. 
Their efforts were covered by several hundred national and local 
television organizations in all major media markets. More than 1,500 
print articles were written in response to each mobilization. As a 
result of the May mobilization, seat belt use increased significantly 
nationwide as more than 6,000,000 motorists were convinced to buckle 
up. Since that time, seat belt use has continued to increase 
significantly. The BUA Campaign and the efforts of the Air Bag and Seat 
Belt Safety Campaign (including Operation ABC) provide a useful 
framework for the implementation of this grant program. They provide a 
blueprint for projects that States may wish to implement, using funds 
to be made available in accordance with this notice. Conversely, this 
grant program provides an unprecedented opportunity to achieve the 
ambitious goals established under the BUA Campaign.

Examples of Effective Innovative Strategies

    A State may demonstrate innovation in its enforcement efforts in a 
number of ways. If a State is not currently engaged in any form of 
highly visible enforcement of its occupant protection laws, 
implementation of such a program, in and of itself, would be innovative 
to that State. Additionally, innovation may be demonstrated in gaining 
essential support, implementing statewide training programs, and 
planning the logistics for wide scale enforcement and public 
information activities. For States that already are engaged in 
substantial enforcement efforts, innovation can be demonstrated by 
expanding these efforts. This might include finding more effective ways 
to reach rural, urban, or diverse groups with public information 
messages designed to address the problem of low seat belt use among 
those groups. States

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that have upgraded their laws recently to allow for primary enforcement 
may wish to initiate innovative ways to implement, enforce, and 
publicize their newly enacted legislation. For States with secondary 
enforcement laws, where a motorist must be stopped for another offense 
before being cited for failure to buckle up, innovation may be 
demonstrated by integrating the enforcement of the seat belt law with 
enforcement of another traffic safety law (e.g., an alcohol impaired 
driving law). Many opportunities for innovation exist, regardless of 
the State's current seat belt use rate or its ongoing efforts to 
increase it.
    Following are some examples of innovative activities in support of 
a core component of enforcement:
    --Initiate, or expand in novel ways, the operation of existing 
State or local enforcement-related campaigns;
    --Implement highly visible seat belt and child safety seat 
enforcement efforts in major urban areas, in rural areas, or throughout 
the State;
    --Expand participation across the State in semi-annual national 
seat belt enforcement mobilizations (i.e., Operation ABC conducted in 
May and November);
    --Plan and support statewide efforts to train and motivate law 
enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges to consistently enforce, 
prosecute and adjudicate occupant protection law violations;
    --Mount a highly visible program to implement newly enacted 
legislation which upgrades the State's seat belt or child passenger 
safety law;
    --Initiate or expand public information and education programs 
designed to complement newly upgraded legislation and/or enhanced 
statewide enforcement efforts;
    --Establish new partnerships and coalitions to support ongoing 
implementation of legislation or enforcement efforts (e.g., health care 
and medical groups, partnerships with diverse groups, businesses and 
    --Initiate or expand public awareness campaigns targeted to 
specific populations that have low seat belt use (e.g., part-time 
users; parents of children 0-15 years old; minority populations, 
including Native Americans; rural communities; males 15-24 years old; 
occupants of light trucks and sport utility vehicles);
    --Implement a statewide program to train law enforcement personnel 
on the importance of seat belt use, the specifics of the State's seat 
belt use law, and the importance of enforcing such law to increase 
usage rates;
    --Initiate or expand standardized child passenger safety training 
of police officers and/or child passenger safety checks and/or clinics 
across broad geographical areas (e.g., statewide, in major metropolitan 
areas, in rural areas of the State);
    --Initiate, or expand in novel ways, campaigns which use 
enforcement of other traffic laws (e.g., driving while intoxicated 
laws) as a means for implementing highly visible enforcement of seat 
belt use laws.

    If a State wishes to submit a plan proposing a core component other 
than enforcement, it should demonstrate innovation by proposing to 
perform similar supporting activities. The State should demonstrate 
that these activities have the potential to increase seat belt use 
across the State.

NHTSA Involvement

    In support of the activities undertaken under this grant program, 
NHTSA will:
    1. Provide a Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR) 
to coordinate activities between the Grantee and NHTSA during grant 
    2. Provide information and technical assistance from government 
sources within available resources and as determined appropriate by the 
    3. The COTR will serve as a liaison between NHTSA Headquarters, 
NHTSA Regional Offices and the grantee.

Availability of Funds and Period of Support

    The efforts solicited in this announcement will be supported 
through the award of grants to a number of States, on the basis of the 
evaluation criteria identified below. The number of grants awarded will 
depend upon the merits of the applications received, the amount of 
funds available in fiscal year 2000, and the size of the grants awarded 
to individual States. The total amount of funds to be made available is 
not known at this time, as it is dependent upon appropriations by the 
Congress and the amount of allocations to States based on State seat 
belt use rates achieved (see discussion in Background section, above). 
However, the agency estimates that in excess of $20 million might 
become available for this program in fiscal year 2000.
    In accordance with TEA-21, the minimum amount of an individual 
grant award to a State will be $100,000, subject to the availability of 
funds. However, NHTSA may make individual awards in amounts greater 
than $100,000, subject to the availability of funds and consistent with 
the merits of a State's application. For example, a State may choose to 
submit an innovative project plan detailing ambitious activities for 
the upcoming year that require a significant commitment of resources 
during that year. Alternatively, a State may describe a comprehensive 
effort that is resource-intensive because the activities will take 
place over the course of several years. (This latter multi-year 
approach is permissible because TEA-21 provides that funds awarded to a 
State under this program are available for obligation in the State for 
a period of three years beyond the fiscal year during which the funds 
are awarded.) In either case, NHTSA may decide, subject to the 
availability of funds and consistent with the merits of the State's 
application, to award an amount of funds greater than $100,000 to a 
State. Consequently, States desiring to implement ambitious innovative 
project plans requiring a significant commitment of resources for a 
single year or a multi-year period of performance (up to four years, 
until the end of fiscal year 2003) are encouraged to do so, provided 
the necessary budget information is provided to support such a plan. In 
making award determinations, NHTSA may choose to fund portions of a 
plan (e.g., some but not all activities within a plan or some but not 
all years of a multi-year plan) or to reject a plan, after review in 
accordance with the evaluation criteria. There is no cost-sharing 
requirement under this program.

Allowable Uses of Federal Funds

    Allowable uses of Federal funds shall be governed by the relevant 
allowable cost section and cost principles referenced in 49 CFR Part 
18--Department of Transportation Uniform Administrative Requirements 
for Grants and Cooperative Agreement to State and Local Governments. 
Funds provided to a State under this grant program shall be used to 
carry out the activities described in the State's plan for which the 
grant is awarded.

Eligibility Requirements

    Only the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, 
through their Governors' Representatives for Highway Safety, will be 
considered eligible to receive a grant under this program.

Application Procedures

    Each applicant must submit one original and two copies of the 
application package to: NHTSA, Office of Contracts and Procurement 
(NAD-30), ATTN: Amy Poling, 400 7th Street, SW, Room 5301, Washington, 
DC 20590. An additional three copies will facilitate the review 
process, but are not required.

[[Page 1066]]

    Applications must be typed on one side of the page only. 
Applications must include a reference to NHTSA Grant Program No. 
DTNH22-99-G-05050. Only complete application packages submitted by a 
State's Governor's Representative for Highway Safety on or before April 
7, 1999 will be considered.

Application Contents

    1. The application package must be submitted with OMB Standard Form 
424, (Rev. 7-97 or 4-88, including 424A and 424B), Application for 
Federal Assistance, with the required information provided and the 
certified assurances included. While the Form 424-A deals with budget 
information, and section B identifies Budget Categories, the available 
space does not permit a level of detail which is sufficient to provide 
for a meaningful evaluation of the proposed costs. A supplemental sheet 
should be provided which presents a detailed breakdown of the proposed 
costs (direct labor, including labor category, level of effort, and 
rate; direct materials, including itemized equipment; travel and 
transportation, including projected trips and number of people 
traveling; subcontracts/subgrants, with similar detail, if known; and 
overhead), as well as any costs the applicant proposes to contribute or 
obtain from other sources in support of the projects in the innovative 
project plan. Where a multi-year effort is proposed, the estimated 
costs should be separated and proposed on the basis of individual 
Federal fiscal years, i.e., beginning October 1, 1999 through September 
30, 2000; October 1, 2000 through September 30, 2001; etc.
    2. Applications shall include a State plan detailing innovative 
projects to increase seat belt use rates. The State plan must provide 
the following information:
    a. An Introduction section with a brief general description of the 
State's population density, any unique diversity characteristics, a 
short summary of the status of seat belt/child safety seat legislation 
in the State, and the pattern of estimated seat belt/child safety seat 
use rates for the State.
    b. A Discussion section that presents the principal goals and 
objectives of the proposed plan and articulates the potential to 
increase seat belt use rates, with supporting rationale. This section 
should also identify any proposed partnerships, coalitions, or 
leveraging of resources that will be employed as a means to implement 
integrated key enforcement, public information, or educational 
activities. Any known barriers to implementation of the State's plan 
should be identified, with a discussion of how such barriers will be 
overcome. Relevant data based on planning studies should be included or 
footnoted. Supporting documentation from concerned interests other than 
the applicant may be included. Documentation of existing public and/or 
political support may be included (e.g. endorsement of the Governor, 
State Police or Patrol, State Association of Chiefs of Police, State 
Medical Society, etc).
    c. A Project Description section, with a detailed description of 
the innovative projects to be undertaken by the State under the plan, 
including, for each activity:
    (1) The key strategies to be employed to achieve a significant use 
rate increase across the State (e.g., enforcement, public information 
and education, training, incentive/reward efforts);
    (2) The innovative features (e.g. new participants, expanded 
efforts, unique resources, design or technological innovations, 
reductions in cost or time, integration with existing State efforts, 
extraordinary community involvement); and
    (3) A work plan listing milestones in chronological order to show 
the schedule of accomplishments and their target dates.
    d. A Personnel section, which identifies the proposed program 
manager, key personnel and other proposed personnel considered critical 
to the successful accomplishment of the activities under the State's 
plan. A brief description of their qualifications and respective 
responsibilities shall be included. The proposed level of their effort 
and contributions to the various activities in the plan shall also be 
identified. Each organization, corporation, or consultant who will work 
on the innovative project plan shall be identified, along with a short 
description of the nature of the effort or contribution and relevant 
    e. An Evaluation section, with a description of how the State will 
evaluate and measure the outcomes of the activities in its innovative 
project plan. This section should describe the methods for assessing 
actual results achieved under the plan. Outcomes can be documented in a 
number of ways. Increases in observed seat belt and child safety seat 
use provide the ultimate measure of success. However, intermediate 
measures also may be used to measure progress. These measures may 
include: (i) increases in the number of law enforcement personnel 
trained to enforce occupant protection laws; (ii) increased statewide 
participation in semi-annual enforcement mobilizations (Operation ABC); 
(iii) increased public perception of ongoing enforcement and public 
education activities; (iv) increased numbers of public and private 
sector partners involved in implementing the statewide programs; (v) 
incentive programs to complement enforcement efforts; or (vi) extent of 
integration of occupant protection enforcement activities with other 
State enforcement activities. Data sources should be identified and 
collection and analysis approaches should be described.

Application Review Procedures and Evaluation Criteria

    Initially, all applications will be reviewed to confirm that the 
applicant is an eligible recipient and to assure that the application 
contains all of the information required by the Application Contents 
section of the notice. Each complete application from an eligible 
recipient then will be evaluated by an Evaluation Committee. The 
applications will be evaluated using the following criteria, which are 
listed in descending order of importance:
    1. The goal(s) the State proposes to achieve, as described in its 
innovative project plan, the overall soundness and feasibility of the 
plan for achieving the goal(s), and the potential effectiveness of the 
proposed activities in the plan for increasing seat belt use. The 
extent to which the plan details a significant and comprehensive 
enforcement effort or, where another approach is selected, provides 
evidence supporting the effectiveness of the proposed approach will be 
    2. The organizational resources the State will draw upon, and how 
the State will provide the program management capability and personnel 
expertise to successfully perform the activities in its innovative 
project plan. The adequacy of the proposed personnel (including 
subcontractor and subgrantee personnel) to successfully perform the 
proposed activities, including qualifications and experience, the 
various disciplines represented and the relative level of effort 
proposed for the professional, technical and support staff, will be 
    Depending upon the results of the evaluation process, NHTSA may 
suggest revisions to applications as a condition of further 
consideration to ensure the most efficient and effective performance 
consistent with the objectives of achieving increased seat belt use.

Special Award Selection Factors

    After evaluating all applications received, in the event that 
insufficient funds are available to award all

[[Page 1067]]

requested amounts to all meritorious applicants, NHTSA may consider the 
following special award factors in the award decision:
    1. Every effort will be made to provide grants to a diverse group 
of States representing a broad range of geographic, demographic, and 
use rate characteristics. Thus, preference may be given to an applicant 
which fits the need for such diversity.
    2. Preference may be given to an applicant on the basis that its 
application is effectively integrated and coordinated with other 
ongoing efforts in the State, resulting in additional opportunity for 
immediately increasing usage rates. This could include proposed cost-
sharing strategies, and/or the use of other federal, State, local and 
private funding sources to complement those available under this 

Terms and Conditions of the Award

    1. Prior to award, each grantee must comply with the certification 
requirements of 49 CFR Part 20, Department of Transportation New 
Restrictions on Lobbying, and 49 CFR Part 29, Department of 
Transportation Government-wide Debarment and Suspension (Non-
procurement) and Government-wide Requirements for Drug Free Workplace 
    2. Reporting Requirements and Deliverables:
    a. Quarterly Progress Reports should include a summary of the 
previous quarter's activities and accomplishments, as well as the 
proposed activities for the upcoming quarter. Any decisions and actions 
required in the upcoming quarter should be included in the report.
    b. Draft Final Report: The grantee shall prepare a Draft Final 
Report that includes a description of the innovative projects 
conducted, including partners, overall program implementation, 
evaluation methodology and findings from the program evaluation. In 
terms of information transfer, it is important to know what worked and 
what did not work, under what circumstances, and what can be done to 
avoid potential problems in future projects. The grantee shall submit 
the Draft Final Report to the COTR 60 days prior to the end of the 
performance period. The COTR will review the draft report and provide 
comments to the grantee within 30 days of receipt of the document.
    c. Final Report: The grantee shall revise the Draft Final Report to 
reflect the COTR's comments. The revised final report shall be 
delivered to the COTR 15 days before the end of the performance period. 
The grantee shall supply the COTR:
    --A camera ready version of the document as printed.
    --A copy, on appropriate media (diskette, Syquest disk, etc.), of 
the document in the original program format that was used for the 
printing process.

    Note: Some documents require several different original program 
languages (e.g., PageMaker was the program format for the general 
layout and design and Power point was used for charts and yet 
another was used for photographs, etc.). Each of these component 
parts should be available on disk, properly labeled with the program 
format and the file names. For example, Power point files should be 
clearly identified by both a descriptive name and file name (e.g., 
1994 Fatalities--chart1.ppt).

    --A complete version of the assembled document in portable document 
format (PDF) for placement of the report on the world wide web (WWW). 
This will be a file usually created with the Adobe Exchange program of 
the complete assembled document in the PDF format that will actually be 
placed on the WWW. The document would be completely assembled with all 
colors, charts, side bars, photographs, and graphics. This can be 
delivered to NHTSA on a standard 1.44 diskette (for small documents) or 
on any appropriate archival media (for large documents) such as a CD 
ROM, TR-1 Mini cartridge, Syquest disk, etc.
    --Four additional hard copies of the final document.
    3. During the effective performance period of grants awarded as a 
result of this announcement, the grant shall be subject to the National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration's General Provisions for 
Assistance Agreements, dated July 1995.

    Issued on: December 31, 1998.
Susan G. McLaughlin,
Acting Associate Administrator for Traffic Safety Programs.
[FR Doc. 99-268 Filed 1-6-99; 8:45 am]