[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 50 (Tuesday, March 15, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 13722-13742]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-05190]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration

23 CFR Part 924

[Docket No. FHWA-2013-0019]
RIN 2125-AF56


Highway Safety Improvement Program

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The purpose of this final rule is to incorporate changes to 
the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) regulations to address 
provisions in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act 
(MAP-21) as well as to incorporate clarifications to better explain 
existing regulatory language. The DOT also considered the HSIP 
provisions in the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST 
Act) in the development of the HSIP final rule. Specifically, this rule 
removes the requirement for States to prepare a Transparency Report 
that describes not less than 5 percent of locations that exhibit the 
most severe safety needs, removes the High Risk Rural Roads (HRRR) set-
aside, and removes the 10

[[Page 13723]]

percent flexibility provision for States to use safety funding in 
accordance with Federal law. This rule also establishes a subset of 
roadway data elements, and creates procedures to ensure that States 
adopt and use the subset. Finally, this rule adds State Strategic 
Highway Safety Plan update requirements and requires States to report 
HSIP performance targets.

DATES: This final rule is effective April 14, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Karen Scurry, Office of Safety, 
karen.scurry@dot.gov; or William Winne, Office of the Chief Counsel 
william.winne@dot.gov, Federal Highway Administration, 1200 New Jersey 
Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 
p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access and Filing

    This document, the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), and all 
comments received may be viewed online through: http://www.regulations.gov. Electronic submission and retrieval help and 
guidelines are available on the Web site. It is available 24 hours each 
day, 365 days each year. An electronic copy of this document may also 
be downloaded from the Office of the Federal Register's home page at: 
http://www.ofr.gov and the Government Printing Office's Web page at: 
http://www.gpo.gov.

Executive Summary

I. Purpose of the Regulatory Action

    The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) 
(Pub. L. 112-141) and the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act 
(FAST Act) (Pub. L. 114-94) continue the Highway Safety Improvement 
Program (HSIP) under section 148, title 23 of the United States Code 
(U.S.C.) as a core Federal-aid program with the purpose to achieve a 
significant reduction in fatalities and serious injuries on all public 
roads. The MAP-21 amended the HSIP by requiring the DOT to establish 
several new requirements and removes several provisions that were 
introduced under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient 
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). A revision 
to 23 CFR part 924 is necessary to align with the MAP-21 and FAST 
provisions and clarify existing program requirements. A key component 
of this rule is the requirement for States to collect and use a set of 
roadway data elements for all public roadways, including local roads. 
Data elements include elements to classify and delineate roadway 
segments (e.g., beginning and end point descriptors), elements to 
identify roadway physical characteristics (e.g., median type and ramp 
length), and elements to identify traffic volume. The purpose of this 
requirement, in addition to satisfying a statutory requirement, is to 
improve States' ability to estimate expected number of crashes at 
roadway locations, with the ultimate goal to improve States' allocation 
of safety resources.

II. Summary of the Major Provisions of the Regulatory Action in 
Question

    This final rule retains most of the major NPRM provisions without 
change, with the exception of the Model Inventory of Roadway Elements 
(MIRE) fundamental data elements (FDE). The MAP-21 requires DOT to 
establish a subset of model roadway elements (a.k.a. MIRE) FDE (23 
U.S.C. 148(e)(2)(A)). Based on the review and analysis of comments 
received in response to the NPRM, FHWA revised the required MIRE FDE in 
this final rule to clarify where the data elements shall be collected 
(i.e. based on functional classification, rather than volume). The MIRE 
FDE are the minimum roadway data elements an agency would need to 
conduct system-wide network screening and can be divided into the 
following categories: (1) MIRE FDE that define roadway segments, 
intersections and interchanges/ramps, (2) MIRE FDE that delineate basic 
information needed to characterize the roadway type and exposure, and 
(3) MIRE FDE that identify governmental ownership and functional 
classification consistent with the HSIP reporting requirements. The 
FHWA believes that the roadway data elements are the fundamental set of 
data elements that an agency would need in order to conduct enhanced 
safety analyses to improve safety investment decisionmaking through the 
HSIP. The MIRE FDE also has the potential to support other safety and 
infrastructure programs in addition to the HSIP.
    The MAP-21 also requires the DOT to establish the update cycle for 
Strategic Highway Safety Plans (SHSP) (23 U.S.C. 148(d)(1)(A)) and the 
content and schedule for the HSIP report (23 U.S.C. 148(h)(2)). An SHSP 
is a statewide-coordinated safety plan that identifies a State's key 
safety needs and guides investment decisions toward strategies and 
countermeasures with the most potential to save lives and prevent 
injuries. This final rule establishes an SHSP update cycle of at least 
every 5 years, consistent with the NPRM and current practice in most 
States. For example, 45 States updated their SHSP or had an SHSP update 
underway within a 5-year timeframe. A number of those States are on the 
third version of their SHSP. Of those States that have not delivered an 
SHSP update, they have an update planned or well underway. The final 
rule also maintains the requirement that States submit their HSIP 
reports on an annual basis, by August 31 each year. In addition to 
existing reporting requirements, DOT requires that State DOTs document 
their safety performance targets required under 23 U.S.C. 150(d) and 
the basis on which those targets were established in their annual HSIP 
report, and describe progress to achieve those safety performance 
targets in future HSIP reports. The DOT also requires States to use the 
HSIP online reporting tool to submit their annual HSIP reports, 
consistent with the NPRM and the Office of the Inspector General's 
recommendations in the 2013 HSIP Audit.\1\ Currently, a majority of 
States use the HSIP online reporting tool to submit their annual HSIP 
reports. All HSIP reports are publicly available on the FHWA Web 
site.\2\
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    \1\ Office of the Inspector General, Audit Report: FHWA Provides 
Sufficient Guidance and Assistance to Implement the Highway Safety 
Improvement Program but Could Do More to Assess Program Results, 
Report Number: MH-2013-055, March 26, 2013, is available at the 
following Internet Web site: https://www.oig.dot.gov/sites/default/files/FHWA's%20Highway%20Safety%20Improvement%20Program%5E3-26-
13.pdf.
    \2\ HSIP reports can be found at the following Internet Web 
site: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/hsip/reports
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    While the MAP-21 allowed HSIP funds to be eligible for any type of 
highway safety improvement project (i.e., infrastructure or non-
infrastructure); the FAST Act limits this flexibility. In response to 
the FAST Act provisions and comments received on the NPRM, FHWA removes 
the provision that required FHWA to assess the extent to which other 
eligible funding programs are programmed for non-infrastructure 
projects prior to using HSIP funds for these purposes in this final 
rule. The DOT also adopts language throughout the final rule to be 
consistent with the performance management requirements under 23 U.S.C. 
150.
    Lastly, as described in the NPRM, this final rule removes all 
existing references to the HRRR Program, 10 percent flexibility 
provisions, and transparency reports since MAP-21 eliminated these 
provisions.

III. Costs and Benefits

    Of the three requirements mandated by MAP-21 and addressed in this 
rule (MIRE FDE, SHSP update cycle, and

[[Page 13724]]

HSIP Report Content and Schedule), FHWA believes that only the 
requirement regarding the MIRE FDE would result in additional costs. 
The SAFETEA-LU and the existing regulation already require States to 
update their SHSP on a regular basis; the final rule establishes a 
cycle of at least every 5 years for States to update their SHSP. The 
final rule does not change the existing schedule for the HSIP report. 
The MAP-21 results in only minimal proposed changes to the HSIP report 
content related to reporting safety performance targets required under 
23 U.S.C. 150(d); however, additional costs as a result of this new 
content are negligible and the removal of the transparency report 
requirements reduces existing reporting costs. The costs to establish 
the safety performance targets required under 23 U.S.C. 150(d) are 
considered under the concurrent rulemaking for safety performances 
measures (Docket number FHWA-2013-020). There were no comments to the 
docket indicating that any of the changes listed above, other than 
those relating to MIRE FDE, would result in increased costs to the 
States. Therefore, FHWA bases its cost-benefit analysis on the MIRE FDE 
component only and uses the ``MIRE Fundamental Data Elements Cost-
Benefit Estimation'' Report \3\ for this purpose.
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    \3\ ``MIRE Fundamental Data Element Cost-Benefit Estimation,'' 
dated May 13, 2015, is available on the docket for this rulemaking.
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    Table 1 displays the estimated total net present value cost of the 
requirements for States to collect, maintain, and use the proposed MIRE 
FDE for all public roadways.
    Total costs are estimated to be $659.1 million undiscounted, $508.0 
million discounted at 3 percent, and $378.7 million discounted at 7 
percent. Although not a specific requirement of this final rule, the 
cost estimate also includes an estimate of the cost for States to 
extend their statewide linear referencing system (LRS) to all public 
roads, since an all-public-roads LRS is a prerequisite to realizing the 
full benefits from collecting and using the MIRE FDE. This cost is 
estimated to be $32,897,622 nationally (discounted at 7 percent). The 
cost estimates reflect the additional costs that a State would incur 
based on what is not being collected through the Highway Performance 
Monitoring System (HPMS) or not already being collected through other 
efforts. In order for the rule to have net safety benefits, States 
would need to analyze the collected data, use it to identify locations 
with road safety improvement potential, shift project funding to those 
locations, and those projects would need to have more safety benefits 
than the projects invested in using current methods which do not 
incorporate the proposed MIRE FDE. Additional costs for data quality 
control, local agency coordination, and data analysis are also included 
in the MIRE FDE Cost-Benefit Estimation Report.

                     Table 1--Total Estimated Net Present Value National Costs for MIRE FDE
                                           [2015-2035 Analysis period]
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                                                                     Total national costs  (net present value)
                         Cost components                         -----------------------------------------------
                                                                   Undiscounted         3%              7%
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Cost of Section 924.17:
    Linear Referencing System (LRS).............................     $34,010,102     $33,514,809     $32,897,622
    Initial Data Collection.....................................     113,395,680      96,253,460      78,854,599
        Roadway Segments........................................      68,879,288      57,899,768      46,795,474
        Intersections...........................................       2,161,256       1,816,747       1,468,323
        Interchange/Ramp locations..............................       1,057,984         889,339         718,777
        Volume Collection.......................................      41,297,152      35,657,606      29,872,025
Maintenance of data system......................................      65,683,740      45,319,305      28,907,829
Management & administration.....................................       6,410,685       5,388,807       4,355,316
Miscellaneous...................................................     499,585,598     327,522,078     233,726,851
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
            Total Cost..........................................     659,085,805     508,008,459     378,742,217
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    The cost for developing a statewide LRS would equate to on average 
$645,051 for each State and the District of Columbia. The cost for data 
collection for an average State is estimated to be $1,546,169 for the 
initial data collection and $85,398 for management and administration 
costs,\4\ $566,820 for maintenance costs \5\ and $4,582,879 for 
miscellaneous costs \6\ over the analysis period of 2015-2035 (2014 
U.S. dollars).\7\ These estimates are net present value average costs 
on a per average State basis discounted at 7 percent. As such, across 
the 50 States and the District of Columbia, it is possible that the 
aggregate cost for the initial data collection would be approximately 
$79 million over 10 years and the total maintenance, management, and 
administration and miscellaneous costs would approach $267 million over 
the 20 year analysis period.\8\
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    \4\ DOT defines management and administration costs as the costs 
to administer contracts for data collection. The analysis estimates 
management and administration costs at 5 percent of the estimated 
initial MIRE FDE collection costs. The analysis assumes management 
and administration costs would not exceed $260,000 per State.
    \5\ DOT defines maintenance costs as the costs to update the 
data as conditions change. The analysis assumes that 2 percent of 
roadway mileage would need to be updated annually.
    \6\ DOT defines miscellaneous costs include the one-time cost of 
developing an implementation plan and cost of data collection 
mobilization and annual ongoing costs of local agency partner 
liaison, formatting and analyzing enhanced data and desktop and web 
application.
    \7\ ``MIRE Fundamental Data Element Cost-Benefit Estimation,'' 
dated May 13, 2015 is available on the docket for this rulemaking.
    \8\ Ibid.
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    The MIRE FDE are beneficial because collecting this roadway and 
traffic data and integrating those data into the safety analysis 
process would improve an agency's ability to locate problem areas and 
apply appropriate countermeasures, hence improving safety. The FHWA did 
not estimate the benefits of this rule. Instead, FHWA has conducted a 
breakeven analysis. There were no comments to the docket indicating 
that a different type of analysis should be performed, except that the 
cost-benefit analysis should also consider a benefit/cost ratio of 10:1 
since this is the average benefit/cost ratio for a typical highway 
safety improvement project. Table 2 shows the reduction in fatalities 
and injuries due to improvements in

[[Page 13725]]

safety investment decisionmaking with the use of the MIRE FDE that 
would be needed for the costs of the data collection to equal the 
benefits and for the benefits to exceed the cost 10 times.

Table 2--Estimated Benefits Needed To Achieve Cost-Benefit Ratios of 1:1
                                and 10:1
                       [2015-2035 Analysis period]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          Number of lives saved/injuries
                                                avoided nationally
                Benefits                 -------------------------------
                                           Benefit/Cost    Benefit/Cost
                                           ratio of 1:1    ratio of 10:1
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# of lives saved (fatalities)...........              76             763
# of injuries avoided...................           5,020          50,201
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    Using the 2014 comprehensive cost of a fatality of $9,300,000 and 
$109,800 for an average injury,\9\ results in an estimated reduction of 
one fatality and 98 injuries per average State over the 2015-2035 
analysis period would be needed to result in a benefit-cost ratio 
greater than 1:1.\10\ To achieve a benefit/cost ratio of 10:1, each 
State would need to reduce fatalities by 15 and injuries by 984 over 
the same analysis period.\11\ The FHWA believes this is possible 
because the MIRE FDE, in combination with crash data, will support more 
cost-effective safety investment decisions and ultimately yield greater 
reductions in fatalities and serious injuries per dollar invested. 
Further, the experiences to date in States that are already collecting 
and using roadway data comparable to the MIRE FDE suggests there is a 
very high likelihood that the benefits of collecting and using the 
proposed MIRE FDE will outweigh the costs.
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    \9\ ``Guidance on Treatment of the Economic Value of a 
Statistical Life (VSL) in U.S. Department of Transportation 
Analyses, 2014 Update. www.dot.gov/regulations/economic-values-used-in-analysis.
    \10\ Ibid.
    \11\ Ibid.
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Background

    On March 28, 2014, at 79 FR 17464, the FHWA published a NPRM 
proposing to revise the regulations in 23 CFR part 924 Highway Safety 
Improvement Program. The HSIP is a core Federal-aid program with the 
purpose to achieve a significant reduction in fatalities and serious 
injuries on all public roads. The HSIP requires a data-driven, 
strategic approach to improving highway safety on all public roads that 
focuses on performance. The NPRM was published to incorporate the new 
statutory requirements of MAP-21 and the FAST Act, as well as general 
updates to provide consistency with 23 U.S.C. 148 and to provide State 
and local safety partners with clarity on the purpose, definitions, 
policy, program structure, planning, implementation, evaluation, and 
reporting of the HSIP. Specifically, MAP-21 removed the requirement for 
States to prepare a Transparency Report, removed the HRRR set-aside, 
and removed the 10 percent flexibility provision for States to use 
safety funding in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 148(e) [as it existed under 
SAFETEA-LU]. The MAP-21 also adds data system and improvement 
requirements, State SHSP update requirements, and requirements for 
States to develop HSIP performance targets. The DOT is addressing 
specific requirements related to HSIP performance target requirements 
through a separate, but concurrent, rulemaking effort (FHWA-2013-0020).

Stakeholder Outreach

    As discussed above, the MAP-21 required the Secretary of 
Transportation to establish a subset of the model inventory of roadway 
elements, or the MIRE FDE, that are useful for the inventory of roadway 
safety. The U. S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) supported 
collection of FDEs on the progress made toward accomplishing the HSIP 
goals in a November 2008, report entitled ``Highway Safety Improvement 
Program: Further Efforts Needed to Address Data Limitations and Better 
Align Funding with States' Top Safety Priorities.'' As discussed in the 
NPRM, the GAO report recommended that the Secretary of Transportation 
direct the FHWA Administrator to take specific actions and FHWA 
published, ``Guidance Memorandum on Fundamental Roadway and Traffic 
Data Elements to Improve the Highway Safety Improvement Program.'' \12\ 
As part of addressing GAO's recommendations, FHWA engaged in efforts to 
obtain public input. The FHWA hosted a peer exchange at the 2009 Asset 
Management Conference, two Webinars in December 2009, and one listening 
session at the January 2010 Transportation Research Board meeting to 
obtain input on possible approaches to address the GAO's 
recommendations. During the Webinars and the listening session, FHWA 
listened carefully to the comments and concerns expressed by the 
stakeholders and used that information when developing the August 1, 
2011, Guidance Memorandum. The August 1 Guidance Memorandum formed the 
basis for the State Safety Data System guidance published on December 
27, 2012.
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    \12\ Guidance Memorandum on Fundamental Roadway and Traffic Data 
Elements to Improve the Highway Safety Improvement Program, issued 
August 1, 2011 can be viewed at the following Internet Web site: 
http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/tools/data_tools/memohsip072911/.
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Summary of Comments

    The FHWA received 62 letters submitted to the docket containing 
approximately 425 individual comments. Comments were received from 41 
State departments of transportation (State DOT), 4 local government 
agencies, 10 associations (e.g. the American Association of State 
Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), American Transportation 
Safety Services Association (ATSSA), and Geospatial Transportation 
Mapping Association (GTMA)), and 7 private citizens. The FHWA has 
reviewed and analyzed all the comments received. The FHWA has also 
reviewed and considered the implications of the FAST Act on the HSIP 
Final Rule. The significant issues raised in the comments and summaries 
of the FHWA's analyses and determinations are discussed below.

Section 924.1 Purpose

    The FHWA did not receive any substantive comments regarding the 
proposed change to clarify that the purpose of this regulation is to 
prescribe requirements for the HSIP, rather than to set forth policy 
and therefore revises the regulation as proposed.

[[Page 13726]]

Section 924.3 Definitions

    As proposed in the NPRM, FHWA removes the following definitions 
because they are no longer used in the regulation: ``integrated 
interoperable emergency communication equipment,'' ``interoperable 
emergency communications system,'' ``operational improvements,'' 
``safety projects under any other section,'' ``State,'' and 
``transparency report.'' There were no substantive comments to the 
docket regarding the proposed removal of these definitions; therefore 
FHWA removes them in this final rule.
    In the NPRM, FHWA also proposed to remove the definition of ``high 
risk rural road'' (HRRR) because this term is no longer used in the 
regulation. The Delaware DOT supported the removal of the term. 
However, ATSSA and the American Highway Users Alliance suggested 
retaining the definition of the term ``high risk rural road'' because 
there is still a special rule that links to HRRRs in MAP-21. The 
Arizona DOT suggested that, if an HRRR is considered a public road, it 
should be treated like any other public road, rather than as part of a 
special rule, and HSIP funds should be used to target locations of high 
frequency of fatalities or serious injuries. As a result, Arizona DOT 
suggested that a consistent definition for HRRR should be established 
that applies to all States. Under 23 U.S.C. 148(a)(1), States have the 
flexibility to define high risk rural road in accordance with their 
updated SHSP. Because the definitions portion of the regulation is 
meant to define specific terms used in the regulation, the FHWA deletes 
the definition in the final rule, since the term is not used in the 
regulation.
    In the NPRM, the FHWA proposed to remove the definition of 
``highway-rail grade crossing protective devices'' from the regulation. 
The ATSSA, the Railway Supply Institute, and the American Highway Users 
Alliance all opposed the removal of the definition. The Railway Supply 
Institute and the American Highway Users Alliance cited the provisions 
in 23 U.S.C. 130 that allow funds to be available for the installation 
of protective devices at railway-highway crossings. The commenters 
suggested that given that statutory requirement, it is important to 
provide a clear definition of the type of devices eligible for funding 
under this section of law, and that the existing definition of 
protective devices in 23 CFR 924.3 does that and should be retained. In 
addition, commenters noted that a version of this term was retained in 
23 CFR 924.11. The FHWA agrees and retains the definition in the final 
rule with a slight modification to the term, revising it to ``railway-
highway crossing protective device.'' The FHWA uses the term 
``railway'' rather than railroad throughout the regulation for 
consistency with the program title under 23 U.S.C. 130.
    Although FHWA did not propose a change to the term ``hazard index 
formula'' the FHWA received a comment from Washington State DOT 
suggesting the term implies an unsafe condition. The AASHTO and Georgia 
DOT commented that the term ``hazard,'' which is used throughout the 
regulation, implies an unsafe condition on a roadway. The commenters 
suggested that the use of the term ``hazard'' creates a liability for 
many State DOTs since it implies that an unsafe condition does exist 
when it does not. The commenters requested that the term ``risk'' or 
``relative risk'' be used, because it would be more accurate and not 
inadvertently create potential liability for State DOTs, and would be 
more in keeping with the state of the practice. Because ``hazard index 
formula'' is an industry standard term and changing it would cause 
confusion, FHWA retains the existing term. The FHWA agrees with the 
commenter that the hazard index formula is used for determining the 
relative risks at a railway-highway crossing and therefore revised the 
definition to refer to ``relative risk.'' Because the term ``hazard'' 
is used throughout the legislation, FHWA retains the term for 
consistency between the legislation and the regulation.
    In the NPRM, FHWA proposed to revise the definition for the term 
``highway'' to clarify the definition of 23 U.S.C. 101(a) and the 
provision that HSIP funds can be used for highway safety improvement 
projects on any facility that serves pedestrians and bicyclists 
pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 148(a)(4)(B)(v) and (e)(1)(A). The GTMA suggested 
that, given the role of roadway pavement markings in supporting 
advanced lane detection vehicle technologies, the term ``markings'' be 
included as one of the associated elements of a road, street, or 
parkway in the definition of the term ``highway.'' The FHWA agrees and 
includes ``markings'' in the definition of the term ``highway.''
    The FHWA proposed to revise the definition of ``highway safety 
improvement program'' in the NPRM by adding the acronym ``HSIP'' to 
indicate that when the acronym HSIP is used in the regulation it is 
referring to the program carried out under 23 U.S.C. 130 and 148, and 
not the program of highway safety improvement projects. The FHWA 
proposed to include a listing of the HSIP components--Strategic Highway 
Safety Plan (SHSP), Railway-Highway Crossings program, and program of 
highway safety improvement projects--in the definition. The GTMA 
suggested that the definition indicate that the program is designed to 
significantly reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries on all 
public roads through the implementation of the provisions in 23 U.S.C. 
130 and 148. The FHWA agrees and revises the definition to indicate 
that the purpose of the HSIP is to reduce fatalities and serious 
injuries on all public roads through the implementation of the 
provisions of 23 U.S.C. 130, 148, and 150. The FHWA adds a reference to 
23 U.S.C. 150 in the final rule to be inclusive of all applicable 
legislation. The FHWA also adds the term ``data-driven,'' as suggested 
by the Rhode Island DOT, to describe the SHSP and to clarify that it is 
developed from a data-driven approach.
    In the NPRM, FHWA proposed to revise the definition of ``highway 
safety improvement project'' to specify that it includes strategies, 
activities, and projects and that such projects can include both 
infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects under 23 U.S.C. 
148(a)(4)(A) and (c)(2)(C)(i). The ATSSA disagreed with the expansion 
of the definition to include both infrastructure and non-infrastructure 
projects, stating that the HSIP was created to focus on safety 
infrastructure investments. The FAST Act limits HSIP eligibility to the 
inclusions list in 23 U.S.C. 148(a)(4)(B). Therefore, FHWA removes the 
general reference to non-infrastructure projects as proposed in the 
NPRM. The ATSSA also disagreed with the removal of the listing of 
example projects from the regulation. The ATSSA reasoned that the list 
was created for a reason to serve as a guidepost and to direct States 
in their investment decisions, and that while it is not an exhaustive 
list, it does reiterate the types of infrastructure projects that funds 
should be focused on in the States. Because it is not an exhaustive 
list, FHWA believes it is best to refer readers to 23 U.S.C. 148(a) for 
the most current list of example projects.
    The FHWA replaces the term ``public grade crossing'' with ``public 
railway-highway crossing'' because the term public grade crossing is no 
longer used in the regulation. It was replaced with public railway 
highway crossing in section 924.9 in the NPRM. In addition, consistent 
with the NPRM, FHWA revises the definition of this term to clarify that 
associated sidewalks, pathways, and shared use paths are also

[[Page 13727]]

elements of a public grade crossing pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 
130(l)(4)(A)(i) and (ii). There were no substantive comments regarding 
this change.
    The ATSSA, GTMA, and Maine DOT supported the proposed addition to 
the definition of ``public road'' that non-State-owned public roads and 
roads on tribal lands are considered public roads pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 
148(a)(12)(D), (b)(2), (c)(2)(A)(i), (c)(2)(D)(ii), and (d)(1)(B)(viii) 
in the NPRM. Virginia DOT suggested clarification regarding Federal 
roadways as well as alleys and service roads maintained by a public 
agency. The FHWA reiterates that Federal roadways are included in the 
definition of public road, unless otherwise noted, and that a public 
road is any road open to public travel, which includes alleys and 
service roads. The purpose of the HSIP is to reduce fatalities and 
serious injuries on all public roads. Therefore, FHWA encourages State 
DOTs to coordinate with all relevant stakeholders to meet the 
requirements of the program. Comments from Alaska and Arizona DOTs 
regarding data collection on public roads and roads open to public 
travel are addressed in section 924.17.
    Although FHWA did not propose changes to the term ``road safety 
audit'' in the NPRM, ATSSA suggested that FHWA clarify that the purpose 
of the ``road safety audit'' is to improve road safety for all users. 
The FHWA agrees and makes this change in the final rule.
    The FHWA removes ``vehicle data'' from the listing of safety data 
components in the definition of ``safety data'' to be consistent with 
MAP-21, 23 U.S.C. 148(a)(9)(A), as proposed in the NPRM. As suggested 
by the GTMA, FHWA adds the term ``characteristics'' to reinforce that 
``roadway'' refers to the physical attributes of the road segment.
    In the NPRM, FHWA proposed to expand the definition of ``safety 
stakeholder'' to include a list of stakeholders. Although the list is 
not exhaustive, FHWA proposed including this list to ensure that States 
are aware of the range of stakeholders that are, at a minimum, required 
to be involved in SHSP development and implementation efforts. While 
the Mid-America Regional Council (the Metropolitan Planning 
Organization (MPO) for the bi-state Kansas City region) supported the 
inclusion of MPOs in the list of safety stakeholders, the GTMA 
suggested that FHWA add State and local emergency medical response 
officials and private sector representatives involved with roadway 
safety and data collection because they could provide valuable 
perspectives on the impacts of crashes. The FHWA agrees that these 
entities could provide meaningful information and States are encouraged 
to include such entities, as well as others that are not listed, in 
their safety planning efforts. The FHWA retains the definition as 
proposed in the NPRM to be consistent with MAP-21.
    Although FHWA proposed to revise the definition of ``serious 
injury'' in the NPRM, FHWA deletes the definition of ``serious injury'' 
in the final rule due to the concurrent rulemaking for safety 
performance measures (FHWA-2013-0020 at 79 FR 13846). A specific 
definition of serious injury is not necessary for this regulation. 
States have effectively managed the HSIP using their own definition for 
serious injury since the inception of the HSIP. The MAP-21 or FAST did 
not make any changes to how the HSIP is managed or administered 
regarding serious injury. Not including a serious injury definition in 
this regulation gives States the flexibility to consider their own 
definition of serious injuries for problem identification. However, 
since it is necessary for all States to use the same definition of 
``serious injury'' for safety performance measures, the term will be 
defined exclusively in 23 CFR part 490.
    In the NPRM, FHWA proposed to revise the definition of ``strategic 
highway safety plan'' to indicate that the SHSP is a multidisciplinary 
plan, rather than a data-driven one to be consistent with MAP-21. 
Wisconsin DOT supported the concept that the SHSP is a 
multidisciplinary plan and that the multidisciplinary component is an 
important part of the plan. The Rhode Island DOT indicated that they 
view the SHSP as a multidisciplinary plan that is developed from a 
data-driven approach, and therefore felt that removing data-driven 
requirement from SHSP seems to contradict with the objective of HSIP. 
Delaware DOT and ATSSA also disagreed with removing the term ``data-
driven'' and suggested it be retained due to the importance of linking 
investments of HSIP funds to data in MAP-21. The FHWA agrees that the 
SHSP should be developed based on data and revises the definition in 
the final rule to reflect that the SHSP is a comprehensive, data-driven 
plan consistent with the definition in 23 U.S.C. 148. The term 
comprehensive as used here means multidisciplinary. Additional 
clarification will be provided in guidance.
    In the NPRM, FHWA proposed to add definitions for ``spot safety 
improvement'' and ``systemic safety improvement'' to clarify the 
difference between these types of improvements. The Minnesota DOT 
suggested further clarification to the definition of ``systemic safety 
improvement,'' since it goes beyond a countermeasure that is being 
widely installed. Minnesota DOT suggested further definition is needed 
so States can confidently deploy systemic safety projects in small 
quantities when needed, and prohibit large quantity deployments of 
unproven countermeasures under the guise of a systemic safety project. 
The FWHA agrees and revises the definition in the final rule to 
indicate that systemic safety improvements are proven safety 
countermeasures. The FHWA adopts the definition for ``spot safety 
improvement'' as proposed in the NPRM.
    As proposed in the NPRM, FHWA adds two definitions of terms used in 
the regulation: ``Model Inventory of Roadway Elements (MIRE) 
Fundamental Data Elements'' and ``reporting year.'' There were no 
significant comments to the docket regarding these definitions; 
however, FHWA incorporates minor editorial changes to the definition of 
``Model Inventory of Roadway Elements (MIRE) Fundamental Data 
Elements'' in the final rule.

Section 924.5 Policy

    As proposed in the NPRM, FHWA incorporates minor editorial 
modifications in paragraph (a) to explicitly state that the HSIP's 
objective is to significantly reduce fatalities and serious injuries, 
rather than ``the occurrence of and potential for fatalities and 
serious injuries'' as written in the existing regulation.
    In the NPRM, FHWA proposed to delete from paragraph (b) the 
provisions related to 10 percent flex funds, due to the removal of the 
flex fund provisions in MAP-21. The AASHTO and Georgia DOT supported 
the elimination of the 10 percent flex funds provision in exchange for 
being able to use the funds to maximize the potential safety benefit of 
HSIP expenditures. The FHWA also proposed to add language that funding 
shall be used for highway safety improvement projects that maximize 
opportunities to advance safety consistent with the State's SHSP and 
have the greatest potential to reduce the State's fatalities and 
serious injuries. The AASHTO and Minnesota DOT suggested that the 
language, as proposed, appeared to be unduly detailed or prescriptive 
and would not allow a State the flexibility and ability to program 
safety projects that might act to curtail State programming flexibility 
beyond any statutory requirement. Georgia DOT also expressed concern 
that the proposed language implies that all projects can be compared 
side-by-

[[Page 13728]]

side to one another, which is not possible or practicable. Montana DOT 
expressed similar concerns. As a result, the FHWA revises the language 
in the final rule to state that HSIP funds shall be used for highway 
safety improvement projects that are consistent with the State's SHSP, 
and that HSIP funds should be used to maximize the opportunities to 
advance highway safety improvement projects that have the greatest 
potential to reduce the State's roadway fatalities and serious 
injuries.
    In the NPRM, FHWA further proposed to clarify that prior to using 
HSIP funds for non-infrastructure related safety projects, other 
Federal funds provided to the State for non-infrastructure safety 
programs (including but not limited to those administered by the 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal 
Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)) should be fully 
programmed. The FHWA's intent in the NPRM was for States to use all 
available resources to support their highway safety needs and make 
progress toward a significant reduction in fatalities and serious 
injuries on all public roads. The NPRM further stated that in the case 
of non-infrastructure projects involving NHTSA grant funds, State DOTs 
should consult State Highway Safety Offices about the project 
eligibility under 23 U.S.C. 402.
    The AASHTO expressed concern that a lack of flexibility by the 
Federal agencies will impact any opportunities that States may have to 
be innovative in using such funds to address non-infrastructure types 
of safety projects. The AASHTO, virtually all of the States that 
commented on this provision, California Walks, and a private citizen 
supported the ability to use HSIP funds for non-infrastructure 
projects, but expressed concern that the added requirement of ``all 
other eligible funding for non-infrastructure projects must be used 
prior to using HSIP funds'' may be limiting and a detriment. Michigan 
DOT stated that non-HSIP funding for non-infrastructure based safety 
solutions may not be under the direction of the State DOT and, 
therefore, the flexibility of State DOTs in the use of HSIP funding 
should not be restricted by the decisions made on how non-HSIP funds 
are used by other entities. The AASHTO stated that if a non-
infrastructure project/program meets the HSIP approved criteria, the 
State DOT should be able to utilize the funds as needed. The Michigan 
DOT also suggested that the Federal-aid highway program is a State-
administered, federally funded program, and the proposed language 
appears to exceed the boundaries of the Federal role in project 
selection. The ATSSA expressed disagreement with the use of HSIP funds 
for non-infrastructure projects. The GTMA expressed support for the use 
of HSIP funds to integrate FMCSA and NHTSA crash data into a basemap 
designed to develop a more comprehensive and strategic approach to 
safety, including training and other data initiatives to assist in 
using basemap data to assist in the enforcement of behavioral and 
FMCSA-related laws. They also expressed their support for the use of 
HSIP funds for the collection of mobile imaging, LiDAR, 
retroreflectivity, friction and 3D pavement and bridge deck imaging 
data. Understanding the need to strike a balance, GTMA encouraged FHWA 
to put in place strong accounting measures to ensure that any funds 
transferred from HSIP to other safety or non-safety programs be 
traceable and that a justification be provided prior to approval. The 
GTMA strongly supported the proposed provision to require other 
eligible funding to be used for non-infrastructure projects in order to 
help maintain programmatic integrity and transparency among the various 
safety programs. Georgia, Kentucky, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South 
Dakota, and Wyoming DOTs suggested there be a stronger tie to fund 
projects and programs that are supported by the SHSP. The FAST Act 
limits HSIP eligibility to the inclusions list in 23 U.S.C. 
148(a)(4)(B); accordingly, the FHWA removes this provision in the final 
rule.
    As proposed in the NPRM, FHWA removes the first sentence of 
existing paragraph (c) regarding the use of other Federal-aid funds, 
since this information is repeated in Sec.  924.11 (Implementation) and 
is better suited for that section. The FHWA also incorporates minor 
edits to the paragraph to provide more accurate references to the 
National Highway Performance Program (NHPP) and the Surface 
Transportation Program (STP) Federal-aid programs, and removes 
references to the Interstate Maintenance (IM), National Highway System 
(NHS), and Equity Bonus funding sources, since these funding programs 
have been consolidated into other program areas. The California State 
Association of Counties (CSAC) expressed concerns with the policy that 
safety improvements that are provided as part of a broader Federal-aid 
project should be funded from the same source as the broader project. 
The CSAC expressed support for the principle that safety should be 
considered in all Federal-aid projects, yet cautioned that there may be 
circumstances when a smaller agency would need to use HSIP funding in 
addition to other funding sources in order to deliver a complete 
project. Alaska DOT suggested that the proposed changes are less clear 
and limit flexibility by limiting funding to one type of Federal-aid 
per project.
    The FHWA's intent is not to limit flexibility, rather to promote 
the use of all available funding sources to implement safety 
improvements. In general, it is FHWA's policy that safety improvements/
features should be funded with the same source of funds as the primary 
project. However, FHWA realizes there are some exceptions that may 
occur on a limited basis, such as when a programmed highway safety 
improvement project(s) overlaps with a standard road project, or for a 
designated period of time when a State wishes to advance implementation 
of an innovative safety countermeasure. The FHWA reiterates that the 
intent of this provision remains unchanged from the existing HSIP 
regulation and retains the proposed language.

Section 924.7 Program Structure

    In paragraph (a), FHWA clarifies the structure of the HSIP, as 
proposed in the NPRM, by specifying that the HSIP is to include a SHSP, 
a Railway-Highway Crossings Program, and a program of highway safety 
improvement projects. As discussed in the NPRM, FHWA believes that 
listing the three main components will help States better understand 
the program structure. The GTMA expressed support for this change.
    In the NPRM, FHWA proposed to clarify in paragraph (b) that the 
HSIP shall include a separate process for planning, implementation, and 
evaluation of the HSIP components described in Sec.  924.7(a) for all 
public roads in the State. The North Carolina DOT suggested that the 
language needed to be clarified if the intent of the revision is to 
require the HSIP process to cover all public roads versus develop 
different processes for State maintained and non-State maintained 
public roads. As a result, FHWA revises the final rule to clarify that 
the HSIP process shall address all public roads in the State. The FHWA 
also incorporates minor revisions, as proposed in the NPRM, to require 
that the processes be developed in cooperation (rather than 
consultation) with the FHWA Division Administrator and be developed in 
consultation (rather than cooperatively) with officials of the various 
units of local and tribal governments; it further adds that other 
safety stakeholders shall also be consulted, as appropriate. In 
addition,

[[Page 13729]]

FHWA clarifies that the processes developed are in accordance with the 
requirements of 23 U.S.C. 148. Finally, FHWA removes the existing last 
sentence of the regulation that references what the processes may 
include, since that language is more appropriate for guidance 
documents, rather than regulation.
    The GTMA supported the revisions in this section with the 
suggestion that additional stakeholders be included in the definition 
of ``safety stakeholder'' in Sec.  924.3.

Section 924.9 Planning

    As discussed in the NPRM, FHWA reorganizes and revises paragraph 
(a) so that it reflects the sequence of actions that States should take 
in the HSIP planning process. As a result of this reorganization, the 
HSIP planning process now includes six distinct elements, including a 
separate element for updates to the SHSP, which currently exists under 
the safety data analysis process. The FHWA also removes existing 
paragraph (a)(3)(iii) regarding the HRRR program to reflect the change 
in statute. While there were no public comments regarding the proposed 
reorganization of paragraph (a), there were comments related to several 
individual items, which are included in the discussion below along with 
key revisions to each element of Sec.  924.9(a).
    The FHWA revises paragraph (a)(1) to group data as ``safety data,'' 
rather than specifying individual data components and specifies that 
roadway data shall include MIRE FDE as defined in Sec.  924.17 and 
railway-highway crossing data shall include all fields from the DOT 
National Highway-Rail Crossing Inventory. As discussed in the NPRM, 
MIRE FDE are a basic set of elements an agency would need to conduct 
enhanced safety analyses regardless of the specific analysis tools used 
or methods applied and they have the potential to support other safety 
and infrastructure programs in addition to the HSIP. While Washington 
State DOT supported including safety data on all public roads, the 
Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Indiana, Vermont, Massachusetts, 
Utah, Montana, Oklahoma, Illinois, Kentucky, Arizona, North Carolina, 
California, and Virginia DOTs all expressed concern with collecting 
MIRE FDE on all public roads. These DOTs expressed concerns related to 
collecting data on low volume, unpaved, and tribal lands roads where 
there are not significant numbers of crashes or safety concerns 
compared to other roads. The commenters suggested that the time 
required to collect such data, as well as the associated costs, creates 
extra burden and resource investments. The GTMA supported the efforts 
to create a nationwide base map of all public roads and suggested that 
the MIRE FDE are in line with MAP-21 requirements. The FHWA retains the 
language for paragraph (a)(1) as proposed in the NPRM, but incorporates 
substantial changes to the MIRE FDE as discussed below in Sec.  924.17 
to address comments expressing concern for the increased cost and 
burden for collecting data on all public roads.
    As proposed in the NPRM, FHWA revises paragraph (a)(2) to clarify 
that safety data includes all public roads. The FHWA retains the 
language for paragraph (a)(2) as proposed in the NPRM, with minor 
editorial changes.
    As proposed in the NPRM, FHWA reorders and combines some of the 
items formerly in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) to reflect the sequence of 
actions States should take in HSIP planning. The revisions highlight 
the importance of the SHSP in the HSIP planning process and that it is 
a separate element. Key revisions, as well as those for which there 
were significant comments, are discussed herein. The MAP-21 requires 
FHWA to establish a SHSP update cycle, so FHWA proposed a maximum 5-
year update cycle in paragraph (a)(3)(i) to reflect current practice in 
some States. The FHWA received support for the 5-year update cycle from 
most of the State DOTs who commented about the update cycle. Washington 
State DOT supported the 5-year update cycle, but also suggested that 
some States may desire a shorter update cycle. Therefore, Washington 
State DOT suggested FHWA provide flexibility to allow States to update 
their SHSP more frequently. Missouri DOT updates their SHSPs every 4 
years and requested similar flexibility in the update requirement. The 
GTMA suggested that States be required to submit their first SHSP 7 
years from the date of enactment of MAP-21 and that subsequent plans be 
updated every 5 years. The MAP-21 requires States to update their SHSP 
by August 1st of the fiscal year following the establishment of the 
update requirements. The FHWA retains the language as proposed in the 
NPRM noting that the regulation also states, ``A SHSP update shall be 
completed no later than five years from the previous date.'' This 
language allows States to update their SHSPs more frequently than every 
5 years, providing flexibility for States who choose more frequent 
updates.
    Paragraph (a)(3)(iii) proposed the FHWA Division Administrator to 
approve the update process. Virginia DOT suggested that the requirement 
for a ``process'' description and approval should be clarified and 
recommended that language be added to specify when documentation must 
be submitted to FHWA for review and approval of a State's SHSP update 
process. The GTMA suggested that any process review be conducted by the 
FHWA Administrator's office, not the Division Administrator. Their 
recommendation is that FHWA Division Administrators should provide 
guidance in the SHSP development process, and since they are involved 
in the development then someone else should have responsibility for 
providing approval. The FHWA retains the language as proposed because 
the FHWA Division Administrators have been delegated the authority to 
act on behalf of the Administrator. Further, since the Divisions are 
involved in the update process, they are in the best position to 
determine if that process is consistent with MAP-21 requirements.
    To address comments from AASHTO, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, 
South Dakota, Wyoming, and Georgia DOTs, as well as GTMA, FHWA revises 
paragraph (a)(3)(vii) to reflect that the SHSP update shall identify 
key emphasis areas and strategies that have the greatest potential to 
reduce highway fatalities and serious injuries and focus resources on 
areas of greatest need. The FHWA removes the phrase ``greatest 
potential for a rate of return on safety investments,'' to address 
comments suggesting that such language implies preparing project-level 
cost benefit analyses which are not appropriate at the planning level. 
The use of the term ``rate of return'' was not intended to reference a 
statistical methodology. The GTMA suggested changing the phrase ``key 
features when determining SHSP strategies'' in paragraph (a)(3)(vii) to 
mirror the legislation to read ``key factors . . .'' The FHWA retains 
the phrase ``key features,'' as proposed in the NPRM, because FHWA 
feels this language to be consistent with the level of detail 
appropriate for the SHSP.
    To respond to a comment from GTMA requesting clarification on the 
process and potential resources for implementing strategies in the 
emphasis areas described in paragraph (a)(3)(xi), FHWA reiterates that 
this item serves as a basic, high-level description of the process 
covered in paragraph (a)(4) and does not require a validation process 
for each project at this level of SHSP planning. For example, some 
States (such as Louisiana, Maryland and Pennsylvania) include in their 
SHSP a section that explains how they plan to

[[Page 13730]]

successfully implement the SHSP. They describe the process for ongoing 
communication and feedback from SHSP partners, which action items have 
been identified for each partner, and how the plan will be tracked and 
monitored. Other States (such as Virginia and Rhode Island) have also 
included emphasis area plans in their SHSPs, which outline the 
strategies, related action steps, and the agency responsible for 
implementing the strategies/steps. States can also discuss potential 
funding sources to implement the SHSP, such as the HSIP, NHTSA's 
Section 402 funds, etc. There were no comments regarding the remaining 
paragraphs within paragraph (a)(3), therefore they are revised as 
proposed in the NPRM.
    The FHWA revises this item, as proposed in the NPRM, incorporating 
a suggestion from Kentucky DOT to phrase paragraph (a)(4)(i) to reflect 
that the purpose of HSIP is to ``reduce fatalities and serious 
injuries'' to provide consistent language throughout the regulation. To 
correspond with changes made in Sec.  924.3, FHWA incorporates minor 
editorial edits in paragraph (a)(4)(ii) to remove the term ``hazard,'' 
replacing it with the term ``risk'' and deleting the word ``grade'' 
from ``railway-highway crossings.''
    As stated in the NPRM, paragraph (a)(5) contains no substantial 
edits.
    The FHWA incorporates minor edits in the final rule to reflect 
comments from Virginia DOT suggesting that the process for establishing 
priorities for implementing highway safety improvement projects 
``considers'' (rather than ``includes'') the sub-items listed. The FHWA 
believes this revision will provide States with more flexibility in 
establishing their processes. Given this flexibility, it is important 
that States conduct a periodic review of their HSIP practices and 
procedures to identify noteworthy practices and opportunities to 
advance HSIP implementation efforts.
    As proposed in the NPRM, FHWA revises paragraph (b) by changing, 
adding, and removing references to various legislation for consistency 
with other sections in this regulation. The FHWA revises the language 
proposed in the NPRM that clarifies the use of these funding categories 
is subject to the individual program's eligibility criteria and the 
allocation of costs based on the benefit to each funding category, to 
be consistent with Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) revised 
administrative requirements and cost principles under 2 CFR part 200.
    In paragraph (c), as proposed in the NPRM, FHWA clarifies that 
HSIP-funded non-infrastructure safety projects (e.g. transportation 
safety planning; collection, analysis, and improvement of safety data) 
shall also be carried out as part of the Statewide and Metropolitan 
Transportation Improvement Planning (STIP) processes consistent with 
the requirements of 23 U.S.C. 134 and 135 and 23 CFR part 450. In the 
NPRM, the FHWA also proposed to add a requirement that States 
distinguish between infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects in 
the STIP in order to assist in formalizing the required tracking of the 
funds programmed on infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects for 
State and FHWA reporting purposes. Similar to the comments regarding 
the use of funds for non-infrastructure projects in Sec.  924.5, ATSSA 
expressed disagreement with the use of HSIP funds for non-
infrastructure projects, as did GTMA. The FAST Act limits HSIP 
eligibility to the inclusions list in 23 U.S.C. 148(a)(4)(B); 
accordingly, FHWA removes the proposed language requiring States to 
distinguish between infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects in 
the STIP.

Section 924.11 Implementation

    As proposed in the NPRM, FHWA removes former paragraph (b) 
describing the 10 percent flex funds and former paragraph (c) 
describing funding set asides for improvements on high risk rural roads 
to reflect changes associated with MAP-21.
    In the NPRM, FHWA proposed adding new paragraph (b) to require 
States to incorporate an implementation plan by July 1, 2015, for 
collecting MIRE FDE in their State's Traffic Records Strategic Plan and 
that they shall complete collection of the MIRE FDE on all public roads 
by September 30, 2020. The preamble for the NPRM also stated that due 
to the uncertainty in time periods for publishing rulemakings, it is 
possible that the dates will be changed to reflect a specific time 
period based upon the effective date of a final rule for this NPRM. 
While the Missouri DOT acknowledged that it could have an 
implementation plan in place by July 1, 2015, many State DOTs and the 
Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments stated that the both the 
July 2015 deadline for an implementation plan and the 5-year deadline 
for complete collection of MIRE FDE were too aggressive. The AASHTO and 
California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Missouri DOTs suggested that the 
proposed September 2020 timeframe for collecting data on all public 
roads was aggressive and likely not achievable; however, Delaware DOT 
indicated that they could meet the deadline. The AASHTO, Georgia, 
Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Vermont DOTs suggested a 10-year timeframe 
for collecting data would be more appropriate. The GTMA suggested that 
FHWA amend the language to require complete collection of MIRE FDE on 
all NHS routes by September 30, 2018, and all public roads by September 
30, 2022. The AASHTO suggested that the regulation be modified to allow 
States to develop an implementation plan that prioritizes the 
collection of MIRE FDE as resources are made available. Georgia DOT 
submitted a similar comment.
    The FHWA understands concerns expressed by the commenters. As a 
result, FHWA revises the final rule language to require States to 
incorporate specific quantifiable and measureable anticipated 
improvements for the collection of MIRE FDE into their Traffic Records 
Strategic Plan by July 1, 2017. The additional 2 years provided in this 
final rule will give States additional time to coordinate with all 
relevant entities, including local and tribal agencies, to identify and 
prioritize MIRE FDE collection efforts. The FHWA also revises the final 
rule to specify that States shall have access to a complete collection 
of the MIRE FDE on all public roads by September 30, 2026. This change 
clarifies that States only need to have access to data, rather than to 
actually collect the data themselves. It also extends the deadline for 
complete collection of the MIRE FDE on all public roads by 6 years from 
what was proposed in the NPRM. Based on the NPRM comments described 
above, FHWA believes that 10 years is adequate to complete collection 
of the MIRE FDE as revised in this final rule in section 924.17.
    As proposed in the NPRM, FHWA adopts new paragraph (c) requiring 
the SHSP to include actions that address how the SHSP emphasis area 
strategies will be implemented.
    In paragraph (d), FHWA removes language regarding specific use of 
23 U.S.C. 130(f) funds for railway-highway crossings, because reference 
to 23 U.S.C. 130 as a whole is more appropriate than specifying just 
section (f). The FHWA retains language about the Special Rule under 23 
U.S.C. 130(e)(2) authorizing use of funds made available under 23 
U.S.C. 130 for HSIP purposes if a State demonstrates it has met its 
needs for installation of railway-highway crossing protective devices 
to the satisfaction of the FHWA Division Administrator, in order to 
ensure that all States are aware of this provision.
    As proposed in the NPRM, FHWA revises paragraph (g) [formerly 
paragraph (h)] regarding the Federal

[[Page 13731]]

share of the cost of a highway safety improvement project carried out 
with funds apportioned to a State under section 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(3) to 
reflect 23 U.S.C. 148(j). The GTMA expressed support for allowing 23 
U.S.C. 120 and 130 reimbursement exceptions to be made available for 
the HSIP. The FHWA removes existing paragraphs (g) and (i) because the 
regulations are covered elsewhere and therefore do not need to be in 
this regulation. In particular, existing paragraph (g) is addressed in 
23 CFR 450.216, which documents the requirements for the development 
and content of the STIP, including accounting for safety projects. In 
addition, existing paragraph (i) regarding implementation of safety 
projects in accordance with 23 CFR part 630, subpart A, applies to all 
Federal-aid projects, not just HSIP, and is therefore not necessary in 
the HSIP regulation.
    The FHWA retains existing paragraphs (a), (e), and (f) with minimal 
editorial changes. The ATSSA expressed support for paragraph (e) that 
highway safety improvement projects be implemented with other funds and 
suggested that care should be taken to ensure that highway safety 
improvement projects funded with other programs are in addition to 
projects funded by the HSIP, not instead of. The ATSSA disagreed with 
the existing provision in paragraph (f) that again allows HSIP funds to 
be used for non-highway construction projects. These are existing 
provisions for which FHWA does not adopt any changes, except revisions 
to be consistent with OMB's revised administrative requirements and 
cost principles under 2 CFR part 200.

Section 924.13 Evaluation

    The FHWA incorporates the following changes to paragraph (a) 
regarding the evaluation of the HSIP and SHSP:
    The FHWA proposed to revise paragraph (a)(1) to clarify that the 
process is to analyze and assess the results achieved by highway safety 
improvement projects and the Railway-Highway Crossing Program, and not 
the HSIP as stated in the existing regulation. As stated in the NPRM, 
this change is consistent with the clarifications to Program Structure, 
as described in Sec.  924.7. The Delaware and Virginia DOTs and GTMA 
expressed concern that the evaluation of individual projects could be 
time intensive without achieving the goal of understanding the overall 
impact of safety programs. The FHWA revises paragraph (a)(1) to 
reference the program of highway safety improvement projects, rather 
than individual projects. Texas DOT requested further details regarding 
the evaluation process. The FHWA will provide further clarification in 
guidance, but in general States are required to develop evaluation 
processes to best meet their individual program needs. Evaluation 
processes might include an inventory of previously implemented HSIP 
projects to support safety performance evaluations of individual 
projects, countermeasures, and the program as a whole. These processes 
might also specify specific methodologies and available resources to 
support evaluation. As stated in the NPRM, States currently evaluate 
highway safety improvement projects to support the evaluation of the 
HSIP; therefore this clarification does not require States to change 
their evaluation practices or the way they report their evaluations to 
FHWA. The FHWA also proposed to revise the outcome of this process to 
align with the performance targets established under 23 U.S.C. 150 as a 
requirement in section 1203 of MAP-21, which is the subject of a 
concurrent rulemaking for safety performance measures (FHWA-2013-0020 
at 79 FR 13846). The FHWA revises the language in the final rule to 
reflect that contributions to improved safety outcomes are important, 
as well as attaining performance targets, based on a comment from 
AASHTO and several State DOTs to emphasize long-term, outcome-oriented 
focus as well as short-term targets. The process for evaluating 
achievement toward performance targets is described in more detail in 
the concurrent rulemaking for safety performance measures (FHWA-2013-
0020 at 79 FR 13846).
    The FHWA revises paragraph (a)(2), as proposed in the NPRM, to 
clarify that the evaluation of the SHSP is part of the regularly 
recurring update process that is already required under the current 
regulations. As part of this change, FHWA removes existing paragraph 
(a)(2)(i) because ensuring the accuracy and currency of the safety data 
is part of regular monitoring and tracking efforts. The FHWA revises 
new paragraph (a)(2)(i) [formerly paragraph (a)(2)(ii)] to reflect that 
evaluation of the SHSP includes confirming the validity of the emphasis 
areas and strategies based on analysis of current safety data.
    Finally, in new paragraph (a)(2)(ii) [formerly paragraph 
(a)(2)(iii)] FHWA clarifies that the SHSP evaluation must identify 
issues related to the SHSP's implementation and progress that should be 
considered during each subsequent SHSP update. Subsequent SHSP updates 
will need to take into consideration the issues experienced in 
implementing the previous plan and identify methods to overcome those 
issues. Washington DOT commented that while it recognizes the value in 
reporting the lessons learned from implementation, it was unsure what 
was meant in the NPRM preamble by ``issues experienced'' and ``steps 
taken to overcome,'' and suggested that examples would provide greater 
clarity to what is meant by ``issues.'' The FHWA will provide further 
clarification in guidance, but an example of an ``issue experienced'' 
could be not meeting a SHSP goal or objective. For instance, if a SHSP 
emphasis area objective is not met, this may suggest a strategy is 
ineffective, or in some cases, the strategy may not have been 
implemented as planned. The State should try to identify why the 
objective was not met and consider alternatives in their SHSP update.
    As proposed in the NPRM, FHWA incorporates a minor revision to 
paragraph (b)(1) to specify that safety data used in the planning 
process is to be updated based on the results of the evaluation under 
Sec.  924.13(a)(1).
    Finally, FHWA incorporates minor revisions to paragraph (c) to 
remove references to the STP and NHS [now NHPP], as well as 23 U.S.C. 
402 since this is not the primary intent of these programs; removed the 
reference to 23 U.S.C. 105 since this program was repealed under MAP-
21; and replaces the reference to 23 U.S.C. 104(f) with 104(d) to 
reflect the change in legislation numbering. There were no substantial 
comments to these revisions in the NPRM.
    The FHWA revises the language in the final rule that clarifies that 
the use of these funding categories is subject to the individual 
program's eligibility criteria and the allocation of costs based on the 
benefit to each funding category to be consistent with OMB's revised 
administrative requirements and cost principles under 2 CFR part 200.

Section 924.15 Reporting

    The FHWA removes the requirements for reporting on the HRRR program 
and the transparency report, as proposed in the NPRM, because MAP-21 
removes these reporting requirements.
    The FHWA revises the HSIP report requirements to specify what 
should be contained in these reports. In paragraph (a), FHWA requires 
that the report be submitted via the HSIP online reporting tool. The 
AASHTO, Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, New York, 
Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah, and Texas DOTs all suggested that 
improvements be made to the online reporting tool. While many supported

[[Page 13732]]

the principle of submitting reports online, several State DOTs 
expressed concern with the current functionality of the online 
reporting tool and suggested that it be improved before use of the tool 
was mandatory. The State DOTs indicated that there are usability issues 
with the current tool making it cumbersome to use. Some expressed 
concern that the tool is error-prone. In addition, States suggested 
that the security features be improved so that all reviewers and 
contributors could obtain access.
    The FHWA understands that there have been difficulties with the 
online reporting tool and will continue to host user group discussions 
to identify and prioritize future enhancements. The FHWA will also 
continue training and technical assistance activities to support States 
HSIP reporting efforts. To respond to comments regarding access to and 
security of the online report tool, FHWA issued a Memorandum of User 
Profile and Access Control System (UPACS) Credentials on October 4, 
2009,\13\ to provide States with information regarding FHWA's 
implementation of e-Authentication as a part of the e-Government 
initiative to enable trust and confidence in e-Government transactions. 
In this memorandum, FHWA indicated that, in adherence to the DOT 
Information Assurance guidance, all State DOT users and MPO users 
accessing FHWA web-based applications would be required to obtain a 
Level-2 credential by April 1, 2010. The intent for submitting online 
reports is to ensure consistent reporting across all States and support 
national HSIP evaluation efforts. Forty-seven States currently use the 
HSIP online reporting tool to support the HSIP reporting efforts.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ The Memorandum of User Profile and Access Control System 
(UPACS) Credentials, issued October 4, 2009 can be viewed on the 
docket for this rulemaking.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As proposed in the NPRM, FHWA replaces paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and 
(ii) in their entirety. In paragraph (a)(1)(i), FHWA indicates that the 
report needs to describe the structure of the HSIP, including how HSIP 
funds are administered in the State, and a summary of the methodology 
used to develop the programs and projects being implemented under the 
HSIP on all public roads. In paragraph (a)(1)(ii), FHWA requires that 
the report describe the process in implementing the highway safety 
improvement projects and compare the funds programmed in the State 
transportation improvement program for highway safety improvement 
projects with those obligated during the reporting year. The FHWA also 
requires that the report include a list of highway safety improvement 
projects (and how each relates to the State SHSP) that were obligated 
during the reporting year, including non-infrastructure projects. There 
were no substantive comments regarding these changes. The FHWA retains 
the reference to non-infrastructure projects here since States would 
still be required to report on HSIP expenditures for those non-
infrastructure activities that remain on the inclusions list in 23 
U.S.C. 148(a)(4)(B) (e.g. transportation safety planning; collection, 
analysis, and improvement of safety data).
    The FHWA reorganizes new paragraph (a)(1)(iii) to emphasize the 
importance of long-term safety outcomes and to clarify safety 
performance target documentation requirements, consistent with comments 
received on the NPRM. The AASHTO, Vermont, and Arkansas DOTs suggested 
that FHWA emphasize the long-term outcome-oriented focus, in addition 
to annual targets. Virginia DOT commented that the language and 
requirements of regulations 23 CFR parts 490, 924, and 1200 should be 
consistent with respect to SHSP and HSIP/HSP target setting. The ATSSA 
suggested that it might be helpful to clarify the details expected 
related to safety performance targets. As a result, FHWA separates 
paragraph (a)(1)(iii) into three parts in the final rule. Paragraph 
(a)(1)(iii)(A) focuses on long-term safety outcomes and requires States 
to describe general highway safety trends. The FHWA moves all language 
regarding safety trends to paragraph (a)(1)(iii)(A) of the final rule 
in order to group similar information together. In addition, FHWA adds 
a requirement in paragraph (a)(1)(iii)(A) that general highway safety 
trends for the total number of fatalities and serious injuries for non-
motorized users shall be provided in order to reflect the importance of 
safety for this user group. Paragraph (a)(1)(iii)(B) focuses on 
documenting the safety performance targets and clarifies that 
documentation of the safety performance targets shall include a 
discussion of the basis for each established target, how the 
established target supports the long-term goals in the SHSP, and for 
future HSIP reports, any reasons for differences in the actual outcomes 
and targets. As proposed in the NPRM for paragraph (a)(1)(iii), the 
safety performance targets required by 23 U.S.C. 150(d) shall be 
presented for all public roads by calendar year. Paragraph 
(a)(1)(iii)(C) focuses on the applicability of the special rules and 
does not change from the NPRM.
    As proposed in the NPRM, paragraph (a)(1)(iv) requires that the 
report assess improvements accomplished by describing the effectiveness 
of highway safety improvement projects implemented under the HSIP. 
Virginia DOT suggested that this item describe the evaluation and 
reporting of individual projects and their type grouping based on 
outcome frequencies because, for example, intersection crash rates are 
calculated differently from road crash rates. The FHWA does not specify 
how the States assess or report on the effectiveness of highway safety 
improvements. States are required to have an evaluation process under 
23 CFR 924.13, but have the flexibility to develop that process to best 
meet their needs.
    Finally, as proposed in the NPRM, FHWA adds a new paragraph 
(a)(1)(v) to require that the HSIP report be compatible with the 
requirements of 29 U.S.C. 794(d) (Section 508 of the Rehabilitation 
Act) whereas previously only the transparency report was required to be 
compatible. Washington State DOT expressed concern that some States and 
local agencies may have difficulty in complying with 29 U.S.C. 794(d), 
Section 508, and that the burden of meeting this requirement may shift 
to the reporting agency. As a result, they suggested that FHWA consider 
providing examples of Section 508 compliant reports on the Web site. 
The HSIP reports are currently available on FHWA's Web site \14\ and 
are 508 compliant. The HSIP MAP-21 Reporting Guidance \15\ describes in 
detail the DOT Web site requirements. Also, reporting into the HSIP 
Online Reporting Tool meets all report requirements and DOT Web site 
requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ HSIP reports can be found at the following weblink: http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/hsip/reports.
    \15\ HSIP MAP-21 Reporting Guidance can be found at the 
following weblink: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/guidance/guidehsipreport.cfm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There are no changes to the existing regulation regarding the 
report describing progress to implement railway-highway crossing 
improvements.

Section 924.17 MIRE Fundamental Data Elements

    In the NPRM, FHWA proposed to add a new Sec.  924.17 containing the 
MIRE FDE for the collection of roadway data. The proposed section 
consisted of two tables of MIRE FDE listing the MIRE name and number 
for roadway segments, intersections, and

[[Page 13733]]

interchanges or ramps as appropriate. The tables differentiated the 
required MIRE FDE for roads with Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) 
greater than or equal to 400 vehicles per day (Table 1) and roads with 
AADT less than 400 vehicles per day (Table 2). The FHWA received a 
significant number of comments regarding the MIRE Fundamental Data 
Requirements, particularly related to the cost and burden of collecting 
the data, the required data elements, the requirement to collect data 
on low-volume roads, and the implementation timeline. Comments related 
to the implementation timeline are discussed in Sec.  924.11 and 
comments regarding costs to collect and maintain the data, including 
comments on FHWA's cost assumptions, are discussed in the Regulatory 
Analysis section. The following paragraphs describe the remaining 
docket comments regarding the MIRE FDE. Following the discussion of the 
docket comments is a description of the changes FHWA adopted in this 
final rule to address the comments where appropriate.
    Required Data Elements: North Dakota suggested that States should 
be allowed to determine what data is appropriate for their analysis and 
how it should be collected. Massachusetts DOT indicated that they had 
previously attempted a program to define and identify distinct 
intersections and interchanges and found it to be significantly more 
challenging than anticipated. Ohio DOT supported the data elements to 
classify and delineate roadway segments, elements to identify roadway 
physical characteristics, and elements to identify traffic volume, 
indicating that these requirements will ensure that States have the 
necessary data to better target roadway investments with the greatest 
potential to reduce crashes. Delaware DOT and Delaware Valley Regional 
Planning Commission also supported the required data elements. Arizona, 
New York, and Texas DOTs, as well as GTMA, suggested additional data 
elements may be useful such as median/shoulder width, horizontal curve 
data, speed limit, roadway paved width, median barrier type, shoulder 
texturing, and centerline texturing, while the League of American 
Bicyclists and California Walks and Massachusetts DOT suggested that 
bicycle and pedestrian count information or elements along roadways 
(bike lanes) or intersections (pedestrian accommodations) be included 
to help States address crashes associated with non-motorized users. The 
Virginia DOT echoed those comments, stating that presence/type of 
bicycle facility (40) and sidewalk presence (51) should be included as 
data elements that must be collected for urban roadways, stating that 
this is critical as non-motorized fatalities represent more than 10 
percent of all traffic fatalities in Virginia and this information will 
be important to help analyze and identify safety needs of non-motorized 
users of the transportation system.
    Local, low volume, and unpaved, gravel, and dirt roads: AASHTO, 
Arizona, Delaware, Montana, Texas, Utah, and Washington State DOTs 
expressed concern with the requirement to collect data on all public 
roads, particularly as it related to local, low volume, and unpaved, 
gravel, and dirt roads. Arizona DOT and GTMA expressed support for 
exempting unpaved, gravel, or dirt roads from MIRE FDE requirements. 
The Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming DOTs stated 
that there is not sufficient justification for rules that would require 
expenditure of considerable funds on data collection, particularly data 
regarding dirt and gravel roads and other low volume rural roads. They 
commented that scarce funds would be better directed to actual safety 
projects. Those DOTs suggested that it is unlikely that data elements 
related to unpaved roads are ``critical'' to overall safety management; 
therefore, FHWA should exclude them from the MIRE requirements. Arizona 
and Georgia DOTs and the Kansas Association of Counties suggested that 
States be allowed to develop their own methodologies to estimate AADT 
on local roads.
    As discussed in the NPRM, FHWA includes this section on MIRE FDE to 
comply with section 1112 of MAP-21 that amends 23 U.S.C. 148 to require 
model inventory of roadway elements as part of data improvement. As 
mandated under 23 U.S.C. 148(f)(2), the Secretary of Transportation 
shall (1) establish a subset of the model inventory of roadway elements 
that are useful for the inventory of roadway safety; and (2) ensure 
that States adopt and use the subset to improve data collection. 
Considering this requirement in conjunction with the other requirements 
in 23 U.S.C. 148, FHWA cannot exempt certain roads entirely from the 
MIRE FDE requirements. Section 148(f)(1) of Title 23 U.S.C. defines a 
data improvement activity to include a project or activity to develop a 
basemap of all public roads, as well as safety data collection, 
including data identified as part of the model inventory of roadway 
elements, for creating or using on a highway basemap of all public 
roads in a State. In addition, there is frequent mention of safety data 
for all public roads throughout section 148 (e.g., 23 U.S.C. 148(a)(2), 
(a)(9), (c)(2)). If all public roads are to be included in the 
identification and analysis of highway safety problems and 
opportunities as required by 23 U.S.C. 148(c)(2), FHWA believes that 
States should be able to at least locate all crashes on all public 
roads with an LRS. Lastly, the general purpose of the HSIP program is 
to achieve a significant reduction in traffic fatalities and serious 
injuries on all public roads (23 U.S.C. 148(b)(2)). Because the 
collection of these inventory elements ultimately supports 
implementation of the HSIP, it is important that MIRE FDE be collected 
for all of the roads eligible under the HSIP. To address comments 
raised during the rulemaking process, FHWA adds a definition for the 
term ``open to public travel'' for the purpose of MIRE FDE; changes the 
categorization of MIRE FDE from AADT to functional classification and 
surface type; further reduces the MIRE FDE for unpaved roads; and 
eliminates intersection data elements for local paved roads in the 
final rule. A brief description of each of these changes is provided 
below.
    Categorize MIRE FDE requirements for paved roads based on 
functional classification and surface type, rather than AADT: Several 
commenters expressed concern about not having AADT (or a good method to 
estimate AADT) for all public roads, which would make it difficult to 
determine the applicability of the MIRE FDE requirements using the AADT 
thresholds proposed in the NPRM. Based on data from a sample of 3 
States, FHWA estimates that roughly 72 percent (or 2,941,375 miles) of 
all public roads have an AADT of less than 400 and would therefore be 
subject to the FDE requirements proposed in Table 2 of the NPRM. In 
general, the roads with less than 400 AADT are lower functionally 
classified roads. According to FHWA Highway Statistics, there were 
2,821,867 million miles of roads functionally classified as local roads 
in the United States in 2011 and 2012. This estimate equates very 
closely with the estimated miles of roadways subject to the NPRM Table 
2 requirements, which were based on AADT estimates. Given the 
relatively low frequency that actual AADT counts are collected on low 
volume roads, FHWA changes the criteria for determining if a road is 
subject to MIRE FDE requirements to the functional classification of 
the roadway. Functional classification is the process

[[Page 13734]]

by which streets and highways are grouped into classes, or systems, 
according to the character of traffic service that they are intended to 
provide. There are three major highway functional classifications: 
arterial, collector, and local roads. Non-local paved roads (e.g., 
arterials and collectors) would be subject to Table 1 in this final 
rule; whereas, local functionally classified roads would be subject to 
the Table 2 MIRE FDE requirements. As illustrated in the Table 3 below, 
this maintains the approximate proportion of roads that would fall into 
each category as compared to using a threshold of 400 AADT and will 
address nearly the same amount of fatalities. As an added advantage, 
this should be easier for the States to administer. The Table 1 and 
Table 2 MIRE FDE tables are suggested only for use on paved roads.

Table 3--Comparison of Mileage and % Total Fatalities on <400 AADT Roads
                   and Roads Classified as Local Roads
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              % Total
         Roadway classification               Mileage       fatalities
------------------------------------------------------------------------
<400 AADT *.............................             72%            17.7
Local Road Functional Classification....             69%            19.7
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Estimates are based on data from a sample of three States.

    Create an Unpaved Roads Category: Several commenters expressed 
concerns with collecting the reduced set of the FDEs proposed in Table 
2 of the NPRM on unpaved roads. Their concerns centered around the 
relative lack of a safety problem on these roads and the difficulty in 
collecting the information. The AASHTO and many State DOTs suggested 
that FHWA create a third roadway category for MIRE FDE data collection 
on unpaved roads. Based on 2011 and 2012 data, unpaved roads accounted 
for an average of 34.7 percent of U.S. roadway miles (1,395,888 
miles).\16\ Fatality data from the same years indicate that only 2.0 
percent of fatalities (655) occurred on these unpaved roads.\17\ 
Therefore, the FHWA creates a separate, reduced set of FDEs in Table 3 
of the final rule that would be required for any unpaved public road. 
Table 3 MIRE FDE for unpaved roads in the final rule will require 
States to locate and identify these roads within the State's LRS per 
HPMS and to provide the functional classification and roadway 
ownership, which was required in MAP-21. While the FAST Act includes a 
provision that would allow States to elect not to collect fundamental 
data elements for the model inventory of roadway elements on public 
roads that are gravel roads or otherwise unpaved, the MIRE FDE as 
defined in this regulation are the minimum subset of the roadway and 
traffic data elements from FHWA's MIRE that are used to support a 
State's data-driven safety program. States will still be expected to 
geospatially locate crashes and the reduced FDEs to these unpaved 
roadway segments to monitor their safety if they intend to use HSIP 
funds on these roads.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_01_04.html.
    \17\ http://www.nhtsa.gov/FARS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Eliminate Intersection FDEs for Local Roads: Some commenters 
suggested that the burden to collect local road intersection data was 
greater than the benefit, since they would likely not use the 
predictive analysis methods for these facilities. From 2011-2012 there 
was an average of 1,117 intersection or intersection-related fatalities 
on roads functionally classified as ``local.'' \18\ This constitutes 
approximately 3.4 percent of the annual average total (32,739) for all 
fatalities during this time period. Network screening for these low 
traffic volume roads can be performed using system-wide or corridor 
level analyses that combine (but do not distinguish) roadway segment, 
intersection, and ramp crashes. Corridor-level network screening would 
identify ``intersection'' hot spots, as well, and then an agency could 
collect specific roadway data relative to that location as needed. 
Therefore, given the ability to identify intersection problems through 
corridor-level analysis, FHWA eliminates the MIRE FDE requirement for 
local intersections, reducing the number of required data elements in 
Table 2 of the final rule from 14 to 9.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ http://www.nhtsa.gov/FARS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposed changes discussed above will significantly reduce the 
data collection burden on States as summarized in Table 4 below. The 
number of miles of non-local roads for which Table 1 in the final rule 
applies is approximately 8,000 miles less than proposed in the NPRM. 
Table 2 of the final rule applies to nearly 1.5 million fewer miles of 
roads and the number of data elements for those roadway miles is 
reduced from 14 elements to 9 elements. Table 3, which was not included 
in the NPRM, includes approximately 1.4 million miles of unpaved roads 
with only 5 data elements, comprised of name, classification, ownership 
and length, which does not require additional collection of data. As a 
result, the final rule includes three tables: Table 1--MIRE FDE for 
Non-Local (based on functional classification) Paved Roads, Table 2--
MIRE FDE for Local (based on functional classification) Paved Roads, 
and Table 3--MIRE FDE for Unpaved Roads. The FHWA incorporates these 
changes to address comments regarding the need to reduce the burden on 
States while maintaining the minimum roadway data needed to make better 
safety investment decisions.

                Table 4--Comparison of NPRM and Final Rule--Required MIRE FDE and Roadway Mileage
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Variable               Rulemaking phase         Table 1             Table 2             Table 3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Table Categorization............  NPRM..............  >400 AADT.........  <400 AADT.........  N/A.
                                  Final Rule........  Non-local Paved     Local Paved Roads.  Unpaved Roads.
                                                       Roads.
MIRE FDE elements...............  NRPM..............  37................  14................  N/A.
                                  Final Rule........  37................  9.................  5.
Roadway Mileage.................  NPRM..............  1,143,868.........  2,941,375.........  N/A.

[[Page 13735]]

 
                                  Final Rule........  1,135,751.........  1,553,604.........  1,395,888.
-----------------------------------------------------
Summary of changes from NPRM to Final Rule..........  Changed             Changed             Created a separate
                                                       categorization      categorization      category of MIRE
                                                       from >400 AADT to   from <400 AADT to   FDE for unpaved
                                                       Non-Local Paved     local paved roads   roads.
                                                       Roads.              and eliminated
                                                                           intersection
                                                                           elements.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To address the comments suggesting additional data elements, FHWA 
suggests that the MIRE FDE included in this final rule are the minimum 
roadway elements required to conduct system-wide network screening. 
States may choose to collect additional elements as needed to support 
system-wide or site-specific analysis. In addition, FHWA does not 
require a specific method for traffic volume data collection. Agencies 
may use a methodology that best meets the needs of the State.

Rulemaking Analysis and Notices

    The FHWA considered all comments received before the close of 
business on the comment closing date indicated above, and the comments 
are available for examination in the docket (FHWA-2013-0019) at 
Regulations.gov. The FHWA also considered comments received after the 
comment closing date and filed in the docket prior to the publication 
of this final rule. The FHWA also considered the HSIP provisions of the 
FAST Act in the development of this final rule. The FHWA finds good 
cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) to incorporate the provisions of the 
FAST Act without the need for further notice and comment. The FHWA 
believes additional public comment would be unnecessary as the FAST Act 
provisions are not discretionary and update the regulation to reflect 
current law. Specifically, FHWA removes the provision that required 
FHWA to assess the extent to which other eligible funding programs are 
programmed for non-infrastructure projects prior to using HSIP funds 
for these purposes in this final rule since FAST limited eligibility to 
those items specifically listed in 23 U.S.C. 148(a)(4)(B).

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), Executive Order 
13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), and DOT Regulatory 
Policies and Procedures

    The FHWA has determined that this proposed action is a significant 
regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order 12866 and 
within the meaning of DOT regulatory policies and procedures due to the 
significant public interest in regulations related to traffic safety. 
It is anticipated that the economic impact of this rulemaking will not 
be economically significant within the meaning of Executive Order 12866 
as discussed below. This action complies with Executive Orders 12866 
and 13563 to improve regulation.
    While MAP-21 resulted in requiring the Secretary to establish three 
requirements (i.e., MIRE FDE, SHSP update cycle and HSIP report content 
and schedule), FHWA based the economic analysis in the NPRM on the 
costs associated with the MIRE FDE only. Because States are already 
required to update their SHSP on a regular basis, and the proposal for 
States to update their SHSP at least every 5 years is consistent with 
current practice, FHWA expects any costs associated with updating the 
SHSP will be minimal. Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Maine, North Carolina, 
and Washington State DOTs agreed that at least a 5-year SHSP update 
cycle is appropriate and will not create an undue financial burden on 
the State. Therefore, this assumption remains valid. The FHWA did not 
propose any changes to the report schedule or frequency in the NPRM. 
There were only minor changes to the report content related to safety 
performance targets required under 23 U.S.C. 150(d) and FHWA believed 
that any associated costs would be offset by the elimination of the 
transparency report requirements. Further, the actual cost to establish 
the safety performance target is accounted for in the concurrent 
rulemaking for safety performance measures (Docket number FHWA-13-
0020). There were no comments related to the HSIP report content or 
associated costs. Since the SHSP update schedule and report content and 
schedule requirements do not change from the NPRM to the final rule and 
the comments did not suggest otherwise, the economic analysis for the 
final rule is based on the MIRE FDE costs only.
    The MIRE FDE costs in the NPRM were based on the ``MIRE Fundamental 
Data Elements Cost Estimation Report'' dated March 2013.\19\ The cost 
estimates developed as part of that report reflected the additional 
costs that a State would incur based on what is not being collected 
through HPMS or not already being collected for other purposes. The 
cost estimate used in the NRPM did not include the cost of analyzing 
the MIRE FDE and performance measure data. The FHWA received comments 
from AASHTO, California, Georgia, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, 
Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, 
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Washington State, and 
Wyoming DOTs as well as the CSAC, Shasta (California) Regional 
Transportation Agency, and the Mid-America Regional Council MPO 
suggesting that the costs for collecting the required data would place 
a burden on their agencies. While many of the commenters expressed 
general support for the need for data to enhance safety programs, 
Massachusetts, Montana, and Washington State DOT, commented that the 
expenditures in collecting this data at the statewide level for all 
public roads would not be offset by the benefits and would divert 
funding away from other critical elements of their programs. Arizona 
DOT suggested that there is potentially more benefit by implementing 
systemic safety measures on many of the low volume public roads than in 
MIRE FDE data collection. Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, 
Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island, 
Vermont, and Wyoming DOTs all suggested that the costs to collect MIRE 
FDE would be extensive and likely exceed the cost estimated by FHWA. 
However, only Washington State DOT provided actual cost information. 
The cost information the commenters provided was used as additional 
input to the revised ``MIRE Fundamental Data

[[Page 13736]]

Elements Cost-Benefit Estimation Report'' dated March 2015.\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ ``MIRE Fundamental Data Element Cost-Benefit Estimation,'' 
FHWA Report number: FHWA-SA-13-018, published March 2013 is 
available on the docket for this rulemaking and at the following 
Internet Web site: http://safety.fhwa.fhwa.dot.gov/rsdp/downloads/mire_fde_%20cbe_finalreport_032913.pdf.
    \20\ ``MIRE Fundamental Data Element Cost-Benefit Estimation,'' 
dated May 13, 2015, is available on the docket for this rulemaking.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on the comments received in the NPRM, FHWA updated the cost-
benefit estimation to reflect: (1) the revisions to the category of 
roadways and the respective MIRE FDEs to be collected on those 
roadways, (2) a greater period of time for States to collect the 
information on those three categories of roadway, and (3) additional 
cost considerations (e.g., formatting and analyzing MIRE FDE data). The 
``MIRE Fundamental Data Elements Cost-Benefit Estimation'' report dated 
March 2015,\21\ reflects these updates and estimates the potential cost 
to States in developing a statewide LRS and collecting the MIRE FDE for 
the purposes of implementing the HSIP on all public roadways. The cost 
estimates developed as part of this report reflect the additional costs 
that a State would incur based on what is not being collected through 
the HPMS or not already being collected through other efforts. The MIRE 
FDE Cost-Benefit Estimation Report reflects the total cost for States 
to collect the MIRE FDE on all public roads, including unpaved roads. 
While the FAST Act includes a provision that would allow States to 
elect not to collect fundamental data elements for the model inventory 
of roadway elements on public roads that are gravel roads or otherwise 
unpaved, this report includes the cost to collect the MIRE FDE on 
unpaved roads because they would still be required to meet the full 
needs of the States' HSIP.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With the passage of MAP-21, States are required to collect data on 
all public roads, including non-Federal-aid roads. To initiate this 
process, States need to develop a common statewide relational LRS on 
all public roads that is linkable with crash data, as required by 23 
CFR 1.5 and described in recent FHWA guidance \22\ issued on August 7, 
2012. Based on this criterion, the report estimated that the cost of 
developing a statewide LRS beginning in June 2015 and concluding in 
June 2016 would be $32,897,622 nationally over this time period. This 
would equate to a cost of approximately $645,051 for each State and the 
District of Columbia to develop a relational LRS over the 12-month 
period. The data collection for an average State is $1,546,169 for the 
initial collection and $5,235,097 for the management, administration, 
maintenance and miscellaneous costs over the analysis period of 2015-
2035 (in 2014 U.S. dollars). These are average costs on a per State 
basis discounted at 7 percent. As such, across the 50 States and the 
District of Columbia, it is possible that the aggregate cost for 
initial data collection would be approximately $79 million over 10 
years and the total maintenance, management, administration and 
miscellaneous costs would approach $267 million over the 20-year 
analysis period.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ Guidance Memorandum on Geospatial Network for all Public 
Roads, issued August 7, 2012, can be viewed at the following 
Internet Web site: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/hpms/arnold.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table 5 displays the comparison of estimated total national costs 
between the estimates provided in the NPRM and updated based on the 
revised analysis for the final rule. The analysis period for the NPRM 
assumed a 16-year analysis period (2013-2029). Based on the comments 
received, FHWA revised the data collection time period and extended the 
analysis over a 20-year period (2015-2035). Even though States are 
required to collect fewer data elements as compared to those proposed 
in the NPRM, the MIRE FDE costs for the final rule are higher than the 
NPRM, as illustrated in Table 5 below. Based on the comments received, 
FHWA revised the LRS cost to include a sliding scale based on roadway 
mileage, revised the baseline data collection assumptions to reflect 
the most recent HPMS data, added costs to develop a model to estimate 
traffic volumes, added costs for data quality assurance and control, 
and added costs for other miscellaneous activities including developing 
an implementation plan, using a local partner liaison, formatting and 
analyzing data, and supporting desktop and Web applications. In 
addition, baseline costs were inflated to 2014 dollars and the analysis 
period was extended from 16 to 20 years to accommodate the extended 
timeframe for data collection. The FHWA believes that this is a more 
accurate representation of the costs States can expect to incur to 
successfully collect and use the MIRE FDE.

   Table 5--Comparison of NPRM and Final Rule Total Estimated National
                           Costs for MIRE FDE
                             [2014 dollars]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Total national costs  (2014
                                                     dollars)
             Cost components             -------------------------------
                                              NRPM *       Final rule **
                                           undiscounted    undiscounted
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cost of Section 924.17:
    Linear Referencing System (LRS).....     $17,614,763     $34,010,102
    Initial Data Collection.............      54,330,783     113,395,680
        Roadway Segments................      38,767,525      68,879,288
        Intersections...................       8,465,017       2,161,256
        Interchange/Ramp locations......         850,872       1,057,984
        Volume Collection...............       6,247,369      41,297,152
    Maintenance of data system..........     158,320,508      65,683,740
    Management & administration of data        3,524,952       6,410,685
     system.............................
    Miscellaneous Costs.................             N/A     439,585,598
                                         -------------------------------
            Total Cost..................     233,791,005     659,085,805
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* NRPM analysis period--2013 through 2029.
** Final rule analysis period--2015 through 2035.

    The MAP-21 and FAST provides States the framework to achieve 
significant reductions in traffic fatalities and serious injuries on 
all public roads. Furthermore, MAP-21 required States to report on 
their safety performance in

[[Page 13737]]

relation to the national safety performance measures in 23 U.S.C. 
150(e). The collection of the MIRE FDE information will enhance States 
ability to:
     Develop quantifiable annual performance targets.
     Develop a strategy for identifying and programming 
projects and activities that allow the State to meet the performance 
targets.
     Conduct data analyses supporting the identification and 
evaluation of proposed countermeasures.

    The benefits of this rulemaking can have a significant impact on 
improving safety on our Nation's roads, because collecting this roadway 
and traffic data and integrating those data into the safety analysis 
process will improve an agency's ability to locate problem areas and 
apply appropriate countermeasures, hence improving safety. More 
effective safety investments yield more lives saved and injuries 
avoided per dollar invested.
    The benefits of this rule would be the monetized value of the 
crashes, fatalities, serious injuries, and property damage avoided by 
the projects identified and implemented using the proposed MIRE FDE 
minus the forgone monetized value of the crashes, fatalities, serious 
injuries, and property damage avoided by the projects identified and 
implemented using the current data and methods used by the States to 
allocate safety resources. The FHWA did not endeavor to estimate the 
benefits in this way for the NPRM, and did not receive any comments on 
how such benefits could be estimated. Therefore, FHWA continued use of 
a break-even analysis for the final rule cost estimate.
    The ``MIRE Fundamental Data Elements Cost-Benefit Estimation'' \23\ 
dated May 13, 2013, report calculated the benefits by estimating the 
reduction in fatalities and injuries needed to exceed a 1:1 ratio and a 
10:1 ratio of benefits to costs. The 10:1 ratio was added following the 
NPRM since North Carolina DOT commented that the break-even analysis 
using a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio was too low to show the benefits of the added 
data collection efforts. Table 6 summarizes these needed benefits. The 
report used the 2014 comprehensive cost of a fatality of $9,300,000 and 
$109,800 for an injury, based on the value of a statistical life.\24\ 
The injury costs used in the report reflects the average injury costs 
based on the national distribution of injuries in the General Estimate 
System (GES) using a Maximum Abbreviated Injury Scale.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ ``MIRE Fundamental Data Elements Cost-Benefit Estimation,'' 
dated May 13, 2015, is available on the docket for this rulemaking.
    \24\ ``Guidance on Treatment of the Economic Value of a 
Statistical Life (VSL) in U.S. Department of Transportation 
Analyses, 2014 Update. http://www.dot.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/VSL_Guidance_2014.pdf.

Table 6--Estimated Benefits Needed To Achieve Cost-Benefit Ratios of 1:1
                                and 10:1
              [2015-2035 Analysis period, discounted at 7%]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          Number of lives saved/injuries
                                                 avoided nationally
                Benefits                 -------------------------------
                                           Benefit/Cost    Benefit/Cost
                                           ratio of 1:1    ratio of 10:1
------------------------------------------------------------------------
# of lives saved (fatalities)...........              76             763
# of injuries avoided...................           5,020          50,201
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The report estimates that a reduction of 1 fatality and 98 injuries 
by each State over the 2015-2035 analysis period would be needed to 
result in a benefit/cost ratio of 1:1. To achieve a benefit/cost ratio 
of 10:1, each State would need to reduce fatalities by 15 and injuries 
by 984 over the same analysis period. The experiences to date in States 
that are already collecting and using roadway data comparable to the 
MIRE FDE suggests there is a very high likelihood that the benefits of 
collecting and using the proposed MIRE FDE will outweigh the costs.
    For example, one study on the effectiveness of the HSIP found: \25\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \25\ Wu, K.-F., Himes, S.C., and Pietrucha, M.T., ``Evaluation 
of Effectiveness of the Federal Highway Safety Improvement 
Program,'' Transportation Research Record, Vol. 2318, pp. 23-34, 
2013.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The magnitude of States' fatal crash reduction was highly 
associated with the years of available crash data, prioritizing method, 
and use of roadway inventory data. Moreover, States that prioritized 
hazardous sites by using more detailed roadway inventory data and the 
empirical Bayes method had the greatest reductions; all of those States 
relied heavily on the quality of crash data system.''
    For example, this study cites Colorado's safety improvements, 
noting ``Deployment of advanced methods on all projects and acquisition 
of high-quality data may explain why Colorado outperformed the rest of 
the country in reduction of fatal crashes.'' \26\ Illinois was also 
high on this study's list of States with the highest percentage 
reduction in fatalities. In a case study of Illinois' use of AASHTO 
Highway Safety Manual methods, an Illinois DOT official noted that use 
of these methods ``requires additional roadway data, but has improved 
the sophistication of safety analyses in Illinois resulting in better 
decisions to allocate limited safety resources.'' \27\ Another case 
study of Ohio's adoption of a tool to apply the roadway safety 
management methods described in the AASHTO Highway Safety Manual 
concluded, ``In Ohio, one of the benefits of applying various HSM 
screening methods was identifying ways to overcome some of the 
limitations of existing practices. For example, the previous mainframe 
methodology typically over-emphasized urban ``sites of promise''--
locations identified for further investigation and potential 
countermeasure implementation. These locations were usually in the 
largest urban areas, often with a high frequency of crashes that were 
low in severity. Now, several screening methods can be used in the 
network screening process resulting in greater identification of rural 
corridors and projects. This identification enables Ohio's safety 
program to address more factors contributing to fatal and injury 
crashes across the State, instead of being limited to high-crash 
locations in urban areas, where crashes often result in minor or no 
injuries.'' \28\ Another document quantified these benefits, indicating 
that the number of fatalities per identified

[[Page 13738]]

mile is 67 percent higher, the number of serious injuries per mile is 
151 percent higher, and the number of total crashes is 105 percent 
higher with these new methods than with their former methods.\29\ In 
summary, all three States experienced benefits to the effectiveness of 
safety investment decisionmaking through the use of methods that 
included roadway data akin to the MIRE FDE and crash data in their 
highway safety analyses.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ Ibid.
    \27\ Highway Safety Manual Case Study 4: Development of Safety 
Performance Functions for Network Screening in Illinois. http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/hsm/casestudies/il_cstd.cfm.
    \28\ Highway Safety Manual Case Study 2: Implementing a New 
Roadway Safety Management Process with SafetyAnalyst in Ohio. http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/hsm/casestudies/oh_cstd.cfm.
    \29\ Hughes, J. and Council, F.M., ``How Good Data Lead to 
Better Safety Decisions,'' ITE Journal, April 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Between 2008 and 2012, on average 35,157 people died in motor 
vehicle traffic crashes in the United States, and an estimated 2.23 
million people were injured.30 31 The decrease in fatalities 
needed to achieve a 1:1 cost-benefit ratio would represent a 0.2 
percent reduction of annual fatalities using the average 2008-2012 
statistics. These statistics and the experiences to date in States 
already collecting and using roadway data comparable to MIRE FDE as 
cited above suggest that the benefits of collecting and using the MIRE 
will far outweigh the costs. For example, if each State and the 
District of Columbia reduced fatalities by two each because of improved 
decisionmaking due to enhanced data capabilities, the economic impact 
(savings) would approach $938,400,000. The FHWA believes that the MIRE 
FDE, in combination with crash data, will support more cost-effective 
safety investment decisions and ultimately yield greater reductions in 
fatalities and serious injuries per dollar invested.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration--Fatality 
Analysis Reporting System: can be accessed at the following Internet 
Web site: http://www.nhtsa.gov/FARS.
    \31\ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration--National 
Automotive Sampling System (NASS) General Estimates System (GES): 
can be accessed at the following Internet Web site: http://www.nhtsa.gov/NASS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (Pub. L. 
96-354, 5 U.S.C. 601-612), FHWA has evaluated the effects of these 
changes on small entities and anticipates that this action will not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The final rule addresses the HSIP. As such, it affects only 
States, and States are not included in the definition of small entity 
set forth in 5 U.S.C. 601. Therefore, the RFA does not apply, and I 
hereby certify that this action would not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    The FHWA has evaluated this final rule for unfunded mandates as 
defined by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4, 109 
Stat. 48, March 22, 1995). As part of this evaluation, FHWA has 
determined that this action will not result in the expenditure by 
State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector, of greater than $128.1 million or more in any one year 
(2 U.S.C. 1532). The FHWA bases their analysis on the ``MIRE 
Fundamental Data Elements Cost-Benefit Estimation'' report.\32\ The 
objective of this report was to estimate the potential cost to States 
in developing a statewide LRS and collecting the MIRE FDE for the 
purposes of implementing the HSIP on all public roadways. The cost 
estimates developed as part of this report reflect the additional costs 
that a State would incur based on what is not being collected through 
the HPMS, or not already being collected through other efforts. The 
funds used to establish a data collection system, collect initial data, 
and maintain annual data collection are reimbursable to the States 
through the HSIP program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ ``MIRE Fundamental Data Elements Cost-Benefit Estimation,'' 
dated May 13, 2015, is available on the docket for this rulemaking.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Further, the definition of ``Federal Mandate'' in the Unfunded 
Mandate Reform Act excludes financial assistance of the type in which 
State, local, or tribal governments have authority to adjust their 
participation in the program in accordance with changes made in the 
program by the Federal Government. The Federal-aid highway program 
permits this type of flexibility.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    This action has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and 
criteria contained in Executive Order 13132 dated August 4, 1999. The 
FHWA has determined that this action would not have sufficient 
federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism 
assessment. The FHWA has also determined that this rulemaking would not 
preempt any State law or State regulation or affect the States' ability 
to discharge traditional State governmental functions.

Executive Order 13175 (Tribal Consultation)

    The FHWA has analyzed this action under Executive Order 13175, 
dated November 6, 2000, and believes that it would not have substantial 
direct effects on one or more Indian tribes; would not impose 
substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments; and 
would not preempt tribal law. Therefore, a tribal summary impact 
statement is not required.

Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)

    The FHWA has analyzed this action under Executive Order 13211, 
Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use. The FHWA has determined that it is not a 
significant energy action under that order because it is not likely to 
have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use 
of energy. Therefore, a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive 
Order 13211 is not required.

Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review) Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, Highway Planning and 
Construction

    The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding 
intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply 
to this program.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501, et 
seq.), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the OMB prior to 
conducting or sponsoring a ``collection of information.'' The FHWA has 
OMB approval under ``Highway Safety Improvement Programs'' (OMB Control 
No: 2125-0025) to collect the information required by State's annual 
HSIP reports. The FHWA recently received an extension to the 
Information Collection Request, with a new expiration date of May 31, 
2017,\33\ in order to reflect the MAP-21 requirements reflected in this 
final rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \33\ The Information Collection Request can be viewed at the 
following weblink: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=201308-2125-002.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This action meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, 
eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)

    The FHWA has analyzed this action under Executive Order 13045, 
Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety 
Risks. The FHWA certifies that this

[[Page 13739]]

action would not concern an environmental risk to health or safety that 
might disproportionately affect children.

Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    The FHWA does not anticipate that this action would affect a taking 
of private property or otherwise have taking implications under 
Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with 
Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.

National Environmental Policy Act

    The agency has analyzed this action for the purpose of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4347) and has 
determined that it would not have any effect on the quality of the 
environment and meets the criteria for the categorical exclusion at 23 
CFR 771.117(c)(20).

Executive Order 12898 (Environmental Justice)

    Executive Order 12898 requires that each Federal agency make 
achieving environmental justice part of its mission by identifying and 
addressing, as appropriate, disproportionally high and adverse human 
health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and 
activities on minorities and low-income populations. The FHWA has 
determined that this rule does not raise and environmental justice 
issues.

Regulation Identifier Number

    A regulation identifier number (RIN) is assigned to each regulatory 
action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. The 
Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in 
April and October of each year. The RIN contained in the heading of 
this document can be used to cross reference this action with the 
Unified Agenda.

List of Subjects in 23 CFR Part 924

    Highway safety, Highways and roads, Motor vehicles, Railroads, 
Railroad safety, Safety, Transportation.

    Issued on: March 2, 2016.
Gregory G. Nadeau,
Acting Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.


0
In consideration of the foregoing, the FHWA revises title 23, Code of 
Federal Regulations, part 924 to read as follows:

PART 924--HIGHWAY SAFETY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

Sec.
924.1 Purpose.
924.3 Definitions.
924.5 Policy.
924.7 Program structure.
924.9 Planning.
924.11 Implementation.
924.13 Evaluation.
924.15 Reporting.
924.17 MIRE fundamental data elements.

    Authority: 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(3), 130, 148, 150, and 315; 49 CFR 
1.85.


Sec.  924.1  Purpose.

    The purpose of this regulation is to prescribe requirements for the 
development, implementation, and evaluation of a highway safety 
improvement program (HSIP) in each State.


Sec.  924.3  Definitions.

    Unless otherwise specified in this part, the definitions in 23 
U.S.C. 101(a) are applicable to this part. In addition, the following 
definitions apply:
    Hazard index formula means any safety or crash prediction formula 
used for determining the relative risk at railway-highway crossings, 
taking into consideration weighted factors, and severity of crashes.
    Highway means:
    (1) A road, street, or parkway and all associated elements such as 
a right-of-way, bridge, railway-highway crossing, tunnel, drainage 
structure, sign, markings, guardrail, protective structure, etc.;
    (2) A roadway facility as may be required by the United States 
Customs and Immigration Services in connection with the operation of an 
international bridge or tunnel; and
    (3) A facility that serves pedestrians and bicyclists pursuant to 
23 U.S.C. 148(e)(1)(A).
    Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) means a State safety 
program with the purpose to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on 
all public roads through the implementation of the provisions of 23 
U.S.C. 130, 148, and 150, including the development of a data-driven 
Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), Railway-Highway Crossings 
Program, and program of highway safety improvement projects.
    Highway safety improvement project means strategies, activities, or 
projects on a public road that are consistent with a State SHSP and 
that either correct or improve a hazardous road segment, location, or 
feature, or addresses a highway safety problem. Examples of projects 
are described in 23 U.S.C. 148(a).
    MIRE Fundamental data elements mean the minimum subset of the 
roadway and traffic data elements from the FHWA's Model Inventory of 
Roadway Elements (MIRE) that are used to support a State's data-driven 
safety program.
    Public railway-highway crossing means a railway-highway crossing 
where the roadway (including associated sidewalks, pathways, and shared 
use paths) is under the jurisdiction of and maintained by a public 
authority and open to public travel, including non-motorized users. All 
roadway approaches must be under the jurisdiction of a public roadway 
authority, and no roadway approach may be on private property.
    Public road means any highway, road, or street under the 
jurisdiction of and maintained by a public authority and open to public 
travel, including non-State-owned public roads and roads on tribal 
land.
    Reporting year means a 1-year period defined by the State, unless 
noted otherwise in this section. It may be the Federal fiscal year, 
State fiscal year, or calendar year.
    Railway-highway crossing protective devices means those traffic 
control devices in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices 
(MUTCD) specified for use at such crossings; and system components 
associated with such traffic control devices, such as track circuit 
improvements and interconnections with highway traffic signals.
    Road safety audit means a formal safety performance examination of 
an existing or future road or intersection by an independent 
multidisciplinary audit team for improving road safety for all users.
    Safety data includes, but are not limited to, crash, roadway 
characteristics, and traffic data on all public roads. For railway-
highway crossings, safety data also includes the characteristics of 
highway and train traffic, licensing, and vehicle data.
    Safety stakeholder means, but is not limited to:
    (1) A highway safety representative of the Governor of the State;
    (2) Regional transportation planning organizations and metropolitan 
planning organizations, if any;
    (3) Representatives of major modes of transportation;
    (4) State and local traffic enforcement officials;
    (5) A highway-rail grade crossing safety representative of the 
Governor of the State;
    (6) Representatives conducting a motor carrier safety program under 
section 31102, 31106, or 31309 of title 49, U.S.C.;
    (7) Motor vehicle administration agencies;
    (8) County transportation officials;

[[Page 13740]]

    (9) State representatives of non-motorized users; and
    (10) Other Federal, State, tribal, and local safety stakeholders.
    Spot safety improvement means an improvement or set of improvements 
that is implemented at a specific location on the basis of location-
specific crash experience or other data-driven means.
    Strategic highway safety plan (SHSP) means a comprehensive, 
multiyear, data-driven plan developed by a State department of 
transportation (DOT) in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 148.
    Systemic safety improvement means a proven safety countermeasure(s) 
that is widely implemented based on high-risk roadway features that are 
correlated with particular severe crash types.


Sec.  924.5  Policy.

    (a) Each State shall develop, implement, and evaluate on an annual 
basis a HSIP that has the objective to significantly reduce fatalities 
and serious injuries resulting from crashes on all public roads.
    (b) HSIP funds shall be used for highway safety improvement 
projects that are consistent with the State's SHSP. HSIP funds should 
be used to maximize opportunities to advance highway safety improvement 
projects that have the greatest potential to reduce the State's roadway 
fatalities and serious injuries.
    (c) Safety improvements should also be incorporated into projects 
funded by other Federal-aid programs, such as the National Highway 
Performance Program (NHPP) and the Surface Transportation Program 
(STP). Safety improvements that are provided as part of a broader 
Federal-aid project should be funded from the same source as the 
broader project.
    (d) Eligibility for Federal funding of projects for traffic control 
devices under this part is subject to a State or local/tribal 
jurisdiction's substantial conformance with the National MUTCD or FHWA-
approved State MUTCDs and supplements in accordance with part 655, 
subpart F, of this chapter.


Sec.  924.7  Program structure.

    (a) The HSIP shall include:
    (1) A SHSP;
    (2) A Railway-Highway Crossing Program; and
    (3) A program of highway safety improvement projects.
    (b) The HSIP shall address all public roads in the State and 
include separate processes for the planning, implementation, and 
evaluation of the HSIP components described in paragraph (a) of this 
section. These processes shall be developed by the States in 
cooperation with the FHWA Division Administrator in accordance with 
this section and the requirements of 23 U.S.C. 148. Where appropriate, 
the processes shall be developed in consultation with other safety 
stakeholders and officials of the various units of local and Tribal 
governments.


Sec.  924.9  Planning.

    (a) The HSIP planning process shall incorporate:
    (1) A process for collecting and maintaining safety data on all 
public roads. Roadway data shall include, at a minimum, the MIRE 
Fundamental Data Elements as established in Sec.  924.17. Railway-
highway crossing data shall include all fields from the U.S. DOT 
National Highway-Rail Crossing Inventory.
    (2) A process for advancing the State's capabilities for safety 
data collection and analysis by improving the timeliness, accuracy, 
completeness, uniformity, integration, and accessibility of their 
safety data on all public roads.
    (3) A process for updating the SHSP that identifies and analyzes 
highway safety problems and opportunities in accordance with 23 
U.S.C.148. A SHSP update shall:
    (i) Be completed no later than 5 years from the date of the 
previous approved version;
    (ii) Be developed by the State DOT in consultation with safety 
stakeholders;
    (iii) Provide a detailed description of the update process. The 
update process must be approved by the FHWA Division Administrator;
    (iv) Be approved by the Governor of the State or a responsible 
State agency official that is delegated by the Governor;
    (v) Adopt performance-based goals that:
    (A) Are consistent with safety performance measures established by 
FHWA in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 150; and
    (B) Are coordinated with other State highway safety programs;
    (vi) Analyze and make effective use of safety data to address 
safety problems and opportunities on all public roads and for all road 
users;
    (vii) Identify key emphasis areas and strategies that have the 
greatest potential to reduce highway fatalities and serious injuries 
and focus resources on areas of greatest need;
    (viii) Address engineering, management, operations, education, 
enforcement, and emergency services elements of highway safety as key 
features when determining SHSP strategies;
    (ix) Consider the results of State, regional, local, and tribal 
transportation and highway safety planning processes and demonstrate 
mutual consultation among partners in the development of transportation 
safety plans;
    (x) Provide strategic direction for other State and local/tribal 
transportation plans, such as the HSIP, the Highway Safety Plan, and 
the Commercial Vehicle Safety Plan; and
    (xi) Describe the process and potential resources for implementing 
strategies in the emphasis areas.
    (4) A process for analyzing safety data to:
    (i) Develop a program of highway safety improvement projects, in 
accordance with 23 U.S.C. 148(c)(2), to reduce fatalities and serious 
injuries on all public roads through the implementation of a 
comprehensive program of systemic and spot safety improvement projects.
    (ii) Develop a Railway-Highway Crossings program that:
    (A) Considers the relative risk of public railway-highway crossings 
based on a hazard index formula;
    (B) Includes onsite inspection of public railway-highway crossings; 
and
    (C) Results in a program of highway safety improvement projects at 
railway-highway crossings giving special emphasis to the statutory 
requirement that all public crossings be provided with standard signing 
and markings.
    (5) A process for conducting engineering studies (such as road 
safety audits and other safety assessments or reviews) to develop 
highway safety improvement projects.
    (6) A process for establishing priorities for implementing highway 
safety improvement projects that considers:
    (i) The potential reduction in fatalities and serious injuries;
    (ii) The cost effectiveness of the projects and the resources 
available; and
    (iii) The priorities in the SHSP.
    (b) The planning process of the HSIP may be financed with funds 
made available through 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(3) and 505, and, where 
applicable in metropolitan planning areas, 23 U.S.C. 104(d). The 
eligible use of the program funding categories listed for HSIP planning 
efforts is subject to that program's eligibility requirements and cost 
allocation procedures as per 2 CFR part 200.
    (c) Highway safety improvement projects, including non-
infrastructure safety projects, to be funded under 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(3) 
shall be carried out as part of the Statewide and Metropolitan 
Transportation Planning Process consistent with the requirements of 23

[[Page 13741]]

U.S.C. 134 and 135 and 23 CFR part 450.


Sec.  924.11  Implementation.

    (a) The HSIP shall be implemented in accordance with the 
requirements of Sec.  924.9.
    (b) States shall incorporate specific quantifiable and measurable 
anticipated improvements for the collection of MIRE fundamental data 
elements into their Traffic Records Strategic Plan by July 1, 2017. 
States shall have access to a complete collection of the MIRE 
fundamental data elements on all public roads by September 30, 2026.
    (c) The SHSP shall include or be accompanied by actions that 
address how the SHSP emphasis area strategies will be implemented.
    (d) Funds set-aside for the Railway-Highway Crossings Program under 
23 U.S.C. 130 shall be used to implement railway-highway crossing 
safety projects on any public road. If a State demonstrates that it has 
met its needs for the installation of railway-highway crossing 
protective devices to the satisfaction of the FHWA Division 
Administrator, the State may use funds made available under 23 U.S.C. 
130 for other types of highway safety improvement projects pursuant to 
the special rule in 23 U.S.C. 130(e)(2).
    (e) Highway safety improvement projects may also be implemented 
with other funds apportioned under 23 U.S.C. 104(b) subject to the 
eligibility requirements applicable to each program.
    (f) Award of contracts for highway safety improvement projects 
shall be in accordance with 23 CFR parts 635 and 636, where applicable, 
for highway construction projects, 23 CFR part 172 for engineering and 
design services contracts related to highway construction projects, or 
2 CFR part 200 for non-highway construction projects.
    (g) Except as provided in 23 U.S.C. 120 and 130, the Federal share 
of the cost of a highway safety improvement project carried out with 
funds apportioned to a State under 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(3) shall be 90 
percent.


Sec.  924.13  Evaluation.

    (a) The HSIP evaluation process shall include:
    (1) A process to analyze and assess the results achieved by the 
program of highway safety improvement projects in terms of 
contributions to improved safety outcomes and the attainment of safety 
performance targets established as per 23 U.S.C. 150.
    (2) An evaluation of the SHSP as part of the regularly recurring 
update process to:
    (i) Confirm the validity of the emphasis areas and strategies based 
on analysis of current safety data; and
    (ii) Identify issues related to the SHSP's process, implementation, 
and progress that should be considered during each subsequent SHSP 
update.
    (b) The information resulting from paragraph (a)(1) of this section 
shall be used:
    (1) To update safety data used in the planning process in 
accordance with Sec.  924.9;
    (2) For setting priorities for highway safety improvement projects;
    (3) For assessing the overall effectiveness of the HSIP; and
    (4) For reporting required by Sec.  924.15.
    (c) The evaluation process may be financed with funds made 
available under 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(3) and 505, and, for metropolitan 
planning areas, 23 U.S.C. 104(d). The eligible use of the program 
funding categories listed for HSIP evaluation efforts is subject to 
that program's eligibility requirements and cost allocation procedures 
as per 2 CFR part 200.


Sec.  924.15  Reporting.

    (a) For the period of the previous reporting year, each State shall 
submit, via FHWA's HSIP online reporting tool, to the FHWA Division 
Administrator no later than August 31 of each year, the following 
reports related to the HSIP in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 148(h) and 
130(g):
    (1) A report describing the progress being made to implement the 
HSIP that:
    (i) Describes the structure of the HSIP. This section shall:
    (A) Describe how HSIP funds are administered in the State; and
    (B) Provide a summary of the methodology used to develop the 
programs and projects being implemented under the HSIP on all public 
roads.
    (ii) Describes the progress in implementing highway safety 
improvement projects. This section shall:
    (A) Compare the funds programmed in the STIP for highway safety 
improvement projects and those obligated during the reporting year; and
    (B) Provide a list of highway safety improvement projects that were 
obligated during the reporting year, including non-infrastructure 
projects. Each project listed shall identify how it relates to the 
State SHSP.
    (iii) Describes the progress in achieving safety outcomes and 
performance targets. This section shall:
    (A) Provide an overview of general highway safety trends. General 
highway safety trends shall be presented by number and rate of 
fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads by calendar year, 
and to the maximum extent practicable, shall also be presented by 
functional classification and roadway ownership. General highway safety 
trends shall also be presented for the total number of fatalities and 
serious injuries for non-motorized users;
    (B) Document the safety performance targets established in 
accordance with 23 U.S.C. 150 for the following calendar year. 
Documentation shall also include a discussion of the basis for each 
established target, and how the established target supports SHSP goals. 
In future years, documentation shall also include a discussion of any 
reasons for differences in the actual outcomes and targets; and
    (C) Present information related to the applicability of the special 
rules defined in 23 U.S.C. 148(g).
    (iv) Assesses the effectiveness of the improvements. This section 
shall describe the effectiveness of groupings or similar types of 
highway safety improvement projects previously implemented under the 
HSIP.
    (v) Is compatible with the requirements of 29 U.S.C. 794(d), 
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
    (2) A report describing progress being made to implement railway-
highway crossing improvements in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 130(g) and 
the effectiveness of these improvements.
    (b) The preparation of the State's annual reports may be financed 
with funds made available through 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(3).


Sec.  924.17  MIRE fundamental data elements.

    The MIRE fundamental data elements shall be collected on all public 
roads, as listed in Tables 1, 2, and 3 of this section. For the purpose 
of MIRE fundamental data elements applicability, the term open to 
public travel is consistent with 23 CFR 460.2(c).

[[Page 13742]]



     Table 1--MIRE Fundamental Data Elements for Non-Local (Based on
                 Functional Classification) Paved Roads
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        MIRE name (MIRE No.) \1\
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Roadway segment                        Intersection
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Segment Identifier (12)................  Unique Junction Identifier
                                          (120).
Route Number (8) \2\...................  Location Identifier for Road 1
                                          Crossing Point (122).
Route/street Name (9) \2\..............  Location Identifier for Road 2
                                          Crossing Point (123).
Federal Aid/Route Type (21) \2\........  Intersection/Junction Geometry
                                          (126).
Rural/Urban Designation (20) \2\.......  Intersection/Junction Traffic
                                          Control (131).
Surface Type (23) \2\..................  AADT (79) [for Each
                                          Intersecting Road].
Begin Point Segment Descriptor (10) \2\  AADT Year (80) [for Each
                                          Intersecting Road].
End Point Segment Descriptor (11) \2\    ...............................
Segment Length (13) \2\                  ...............................
Direction of Inventory (18)............  Unique Approach Identifier
                                          (139).
Functional Class (19) \2\                ...............................
Median Type (54)                         ...............................
Access Control (22) \2\                  ...............................
One/Two-Way Operations (91) \2\........  Interchange/Ramp.
Number of Through Lanes (31) \2\.......  Unique Interchange Identifier
                                          (178).
Average Annual Daily Traffic (79) \2\..  Location Identifier for Roadway
                                          at Beginning Ramp Terminal
                                          (197).
AADT Year (80) \2\.....................  Location Identifier for Roadway
                                          at Ending Ramp Terminal (201).
Type of Governmental Ownership (4) \2\.  Ramp Length (187).
                                         Roadway Type at Beginning Ramp
                                          Terminal (195).
                                         Roadway Type at Ending Ramp
                                          Terminal (199).
                                         Interchange Type (182).
                                         Ramp AADT (191).\2\
                                         Year of Ramp AADT (192).\2\
                                         Functional Class (19).\2\
                                         Type of Governmental Ownership
                                          (4).\2\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Model Inventory of Roadway Elements--MIRE, Version 1.0, Report No.
  FHWA-SA-10-018, October 2010, http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/tools/data_tools/mirereport/mirereport.pdf.
\2\ Highway Performance Monitoring System full extent elements are
  required on all Federal-aid highways and ramps located within grade-
  separated interchanges, i.e., National Highway System (NHS) and all
  functional systems excluding rural minor collectors and locals.


 Table 2--MIRE Fundamental Data Elements for Local (Based on Functional
                       Classification) Paved Roads
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        MIRE name (MIRE No.) \1\
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Roadway segment:
  Segment Identifier (12).
  Functional Class (19).\2\
  Surface Type (23).\2\
  Type of Governmental Ownership (4).\2\
  Number of Through Lanes (31).\2\
  Average Annual Daily Traffic (79).\2\
  Begin Point Segment Descriptor (10).\2\
  End Point Segment Descriptor (11).\2\
  Rural/Urban Designation (20).\2\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Model Inventory of Roadway Elements--MIRE, Version 1.0, Report No.
  FHWA-SA-10-018, October 2010, http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/tools/data_tools/mirereport/mirereport.pdf.
\2\ Highway Performance Monitoring System full extent elements are
  required on all Federal-aid highways and ramps located within grade-
  separated interchanges, i.e., National Highway System (NHS) and all
  functional systems excluding rural minor collectors and locals.


        Table 3--MIRE Fundamental Data Elements for Unpaved Roads
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        MIRE name (MIRE No.) \1\
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Roadway segment:
  Segment Identifier (12).
  Functional Class (19).\2\
  Type of Governmental Ownership (4).\2\
  Begin Point Segment Descriptor (10).\2\
  End Point Segment Descriptor (11).\2\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Model Inventory of Roadway Elements--MIRE, Version 1.0, Report No.
  FHWA-SA-10-018, October 2010, http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/tools/data_tools/mirereport/mirereport.pdf.
\2\ Highway Performance Monitoring System full extent elements are
  required on all Federal-aid highways and ramps located within grade-
  separated interchanges, i.e., National Highway System (NHS) and all
  functional systems excluding rural minor collectors and locals.

[FR Doc. 2016-05190 Filed 3-14-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-22-P