Highway Safety Improvement Program
The Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) is a federal program that allows states, and the local governments within them, to target safety funds to their most critical safety needs. This includes funding to local agencies through the County Safety Program, City Safety Program, and Rail-Highway Safety Program.
The goal of the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) is to reduce fatal and serious injury crashes, following Washington state's Strategic Highway Safety Plan (Target Zero) and each agency's local road safety plan (PDF 276KB). WSDOT's programs for local governments include the County Safety program, the City Safety program, and the Railway-Highway Crossing program.
Injury levels for crashes
- Fatal - One or more persons in a crash died at the scene of the crash, on arrival to a hospital or medical facility, or at a hospital or medical facility.
- Suspected serious injury (serious injury) - One or more persons in a crash had one or more of the following: Severe laceration resulting in exposure of underlying tissue/muscle/organ or resulting in significant loss of blood; broken or distorted extremity; crush injury; suspected skull, chest, or abdominal injury other than bruises or minor laceration; significant burn; unconsciousness when taken from the scene; or paralysis.
- Suspected minor injury - One or more persons in a crash had a non life threatening injury such as: lump on the head, abrasion, bruise, or minor laceration.
- Possible injury - One or more persons in a crash had: momentary unconsciousness, claim of injury, limping, complaint of pain, or nausea. These injuries are those reported by the person or indicated by their behavior, but where no wounds or injuries are readily evident.
- No injury - The officer at a crash scene has no reason to believe that the person(s) involved in the crash received any bodily harm from the crash.
County Safety Program
Call for projects: Open - applications due March 15, 2023.
The County Safety program provides funding for projects that reduce fatal and serious injury crashes on county roads using engineering improvements/countermeasures. Projects are identified through each county's local road safety plan, that identifies and prioritizes projects based on the top crash type(s) in the county. Projects can be at intersection(s), spot or mid-block location(s), and/or on corridor(s) throughout a county or over wide areas within a county.
Matthew Enders, PE
Manager, Technical Services
City Safety Program
Call for projects: Closed Friday, March 4, 2022.
The City Safety program provides funding for projects that reduce fatal and serious injury crashes on city/town streets and state highways using engineering improvements/countermeasures. The 2020 program includes two subprograms:
- Spot Location: Projects must be at a specific intersection(s), spot or mid-block location(s), or corridor(s) and must address at least one fatal or serious injury crash in the most recent five year period.
- Systemic: Projects are identified through a city/town's local road safety plan, that identifies and prioritizes projects based on the top crash type(s) in the city/town. Projects can be at intersection(s), spot or mid-block location(s), and/or on corridor(s) throughout a city/town or over wide areas within a city/town.
Cities must submit a local road safety plan that addresses fatal and serious injury crashes and systemic safety needs to be eligible to apply. Learn more about local road safety plans: local road safety plans brochure (PDF 276KB).
City Safety and Traffic Programs Manager
Railway-Highway Crossings Program
Call for projects: Closed Friday, August 26, 2022
The Railway-Highway Crossing program provides funding for safety improvements to reduce the number of fatalities, injuries, and crashes at public grade crossings. The program must use at least 50% of these funds to install or upgrade protective devices at railroad crossings. Examples include gates, pedestrian crossings, signal systems, and signing. Funds may also be used to eliminate grade crossings by closing them or providing grade separation.
HSIP funding details and program performance
HSIP funds are split between local government and state programs based on the priority one areas within Washington state's Strategic Highway Safety Plan (Target Zero). Those priority one areas are currently lane departure crashes and intersection crashes. The numbers of serious and fatal crashes are used to develop a program split, which currently equals 30% for WSDOT programs and 70% for local governments, primarily cities and counties. The local responsibility includes crashes on city streets designated as state highways, in cities that exceed 27,500 population. Also, the City Safety program and the County Safety program include a percentage for high risk rural roadways and approximately $2 million per state biennium for the Safe Routes to School program.
The Federal Transportation Act (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act), established five safety performance measures for State Departments of Transportation to establish targets and report on annually. Targets are set based on the five-year rolling averages for: (1) number of fatalities, (2) rate of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT), (3) number of serious injuries, (4) rate of serious injuries per 100 million VMT, and (5) number of non-motorized fatalities and non-motorized serious injuries. States must report annually and their programs must meet at least four of the five targets to maintain compliance.