National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Discretionary Safety Grants and Cooperative Agreements


Provide technical and financial assistance to State and local government agencies, for-profit and non-profit organizations, educational institutions, hospitals, and other persons (as defined in Title 1 USC Chapter (1)) in support of highway safety research and development, special studies, educational and public awareness projects related to or involving: 1). Activities, including demonstration projects to study vehicle, highway, driver, passenger, motorcyclist, bicyclist, and pedestrian characteristics; 2). Emergency medical services communications and transportation of the injured; 3). Human behavioral factors such as driver education, impaired driving, and distracted driving; 4). Evaluation of the effectiveness of countermeasures to increase highway and traffic safety, including occupant protection and alcohol- and drug-impaired driving technologies and initiatives; 5). Development of technologies to detect drug impaired drivers; 6). Research, evaluation, and identification of best practices related to driver education programs (including driver education curricula, instructor training and certification, program administration, and delivery mechanisms) and recommendations for harmonizing driver education and multistage graduated licensing systems; 7). Effect of State laws on any aspects, activities, or programs described above.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Department of Transportation
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 Not available and complete. During Fiscal Year 2016, A total of 15 discretionary cooperative agreements were awarded from 19 applications received. Accomplishments included: Provided assistance to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) to train 174 participants on how to establish new DWI Courts, provided assistance to support refresher training for 187 participants, provided assistance to support 76 participants in receiving regional DWI Court trainings, conducted quarterly webinars, support 4 Academy Courts in educating judges on DWI Courts, and presented at dozens of conferences, and state meetings. Provided assistance to the National Traffic Law Center to conducted over 75 training courses for prosecutors, provided direct technical assistance to 558 prosecutors, provided website for DWI prosecutors that had 513,490 web hits, 500,000 of those accessed. Assisted the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) EMS for Children Program. The program supports a 16-month Cooperative Agreement with the National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials (NASEMSO) to help build and promote the national EMS system. The Grantee provides national leadership to help define and drive the future of EMS; develops resources for State EMS offices; and, gives technical assistance to help States improve regional and local EMS services. NHTSA awarded cooperative agreements to the Florida Department of Transportation, and the Tennessee Governor's Highway Safety Office to support Focus cities in their States with implementing education and enforcement components of their local Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Action Plan. Each State will identify State management processes and approaches that provide ongoing support for local communities to strategically address pedestrian and bicyclist safety with education and enforcement efforts. Assisted the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) - with the promotion of priority highway safety programs, e.g. Click It Or Ticket and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over; publication of articles in Police Chief Magazine to advance traffic safety, coordination with external organizations, e.g. American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) on aligned highway safety concerns, development of an updated Highway Safety Desk Book to provide law enforcement leaders with comprehensive information and strategies for responding to highway safety issues, hosting of conferences and meeting with a focus on highway safety and drug impaired driving interdiction.
Fiscal Year 2017 In 2017, NHTSA assisted the Grantee with the development of “Youth Safety U.” This is a unique central online location where teens, educators, and parents can go to find resources and replicable evaluated programs to prevent underage drinking and driving in their communities.
Fiscal Year 2020 States used these funds to conduct programmatic assessments. Assessments, based on programmatic guidelines, are conducted by a group of peers to assess their strengths, weaknesses, and to provide recommendations for enhancements. States also used funds to provide grants to sub-recipients to assist with the conduct of project proposals, conduct enforcement activities, and to collect and review crash data in order to conduct enforcement in areas where additional efforts are needed based on problem identification
Fiscal Year 2021 CYBERSECURITY EDUCATION - The objective of this project is to create a workforce development program that will provide cybersecurity training needed to perform at functional levels within the automotive and heavy transportation industry. Graduates will be able to engage the Recipient’s members through participation in risk mitigation and response training and provide needed details to the Recipient and industry at large to rapidly provide needed intelligence regarding existing and emergent threats so the industry can respond and even proactively address cybersecurity issues.
Fiscal Year 2023 DRIVER ALCOHOL DETECTION SYSTEM FOR SAFETY PROGRAM - The goal of the DADSS program is to research and develop alcohol detection technologies that are less intrusive than currently available ignition interlocks. Technologies that are integrated into vehicles may hold the greatest promise for widespread deployment. This program is focused on the research, development and testing of non-invasive breath and touch-based alcohol detection devices and subsequent hardware that shall result in one or more commercially viable devices that can be installed in vehicles.
Highway Safety Act of 1966 as Amended by PL 114-94 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, Part 4, Section 403
Public Law 114th-94
Provides the Secretary of Transportation with the authority to conduct research and development activities including demonstration projects and collect and analyze highway and motor vehicle safety data and information related to all aspects of highway and traffic safety systems, human behavioral factors and their effect on highway and traffic safety, and the evaluation of the effectiveness of counter measures to increase highway and traffic safety (among other things).
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Eligibility requirements will be specified on a project-by-project basis. Generally speaking, and historically, projects have been made available to the following types of organizations: Intrastate, Local, Sponsored Organization, Public nonprofit institution/organization, Other public institution/organization, Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Government, U.S. territory or possession, Specialized Group, Small Business, Profit Organization, Private nonprofit institution/organization, Quasi-public nonprofit institution/organization, Other private institution/organization, Native American Organization,
Beneficiary Eligibility
Intrastate, State, Local, Sponsored Organization, Public Nonprofit Institution/Organization, Other Public Institution/organization, Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Government, U.S. territory or possession, Specialized Group, Small Business, Profit Organization, Private nonprofit institution/organization, Quasi-public nonprofit institution/organization, Other private institution/organization, Native American Organization, Anyone/General Public, Health Professional, Scientist/Researcher, Consumer, Minority Group, Handicapped, Youth, Senior Citizen,
Standard Form (SF) 424, including SF-424A and SF 424B "Application for Federal Assistance." Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL) 49 CFR Part 29 Appendix A, Debarment and Suspension-Primary Covered Transactions 49 CFR Part 29 Appendix B, Debarment and Suspension-Lowered Tier Covered Transactions 49 CFR Part 29 Appendix C, Drug Free Workplace Project Workplan Project Budget
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Application Procedures vary depending upon the nature of the assistance. For awards made without competition, application procedures will be provided directly to the prospective grantee as part of an invitation to submit an application. For competitive awards, application procedures will be posted on
Award Procedure
Competitive project grants and cooperative agreement applications must be submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration via the website. Project grants and cooperative agreements which are to be awarded without competition shall be submitted directly to the NHTSA point of contact identified for that financial assistance opportunity. Grantees will be required to complete the suite of SF 424 forms, representations and certifications, project plan and budget. NHTSA's Office of Acquisition Management in cooperation with the applicable NHTSA program office will review project plans and budgets. Awards will be based upon the application of defined evaluation factors to applicants project plans and upon analysis of applicants' project budgets.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Grantee criteria for selecting proposals will be developed on an on individual grant or cooperative agreement basis by the NHTSA Program and Acquisition Team.
How may assistance be used?
The grants and cooperative agreements can only be used for those projects as authorized under Section 403 of Public law 112-140 .
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: For Discretionary Grants, performance is typically monitored through review of quarterly progress reports. Cooperative Agreements are monitored through progress reports and any other method specified in the agreement.
For direct procurement contracts, audits will be conducted in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulations.
In accordance with the Retention Policy all records must be kept for three (3) years.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
The period of time during which assistance is available is determined on a project by project basis. However typically, projects will not exceed five years. The timeframe in which funding must be spent is dependent upon the specific project’s budget, the nature of the project, and the type of funding allocated to that project. Monthly/Quarterly to coincide with submission of invoices. Financial assistance is released, on a cost-reimbursement basis, upon receipt and approval of monthly or quarterly invoices and supporting project progress reports.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
NHTSA Office of Acquisition Management
Headquarters Office
Anita Barber
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, W51-125
Washington, DC 20590 USA
Phone: (202) 366-3989
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 22$0.00; FY 23 est $1,500,000.00; FY 24 FY 21$1,312,006.00; FY 20$33,569,750.00; FY 19$10,832,492.00; FY 18 Estimate Not Available FY 17$27,606,000.00; FY 16$31,058,580.00; - (Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 22$26,264,317.00; FY 23 est $26,595,865.00; FY 24 est $46,471,297.00; FY 21$25,032,783.00; FY 20$31,995,052.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
The range and average of financial assistance for these grants are $650,000 - $2,500,000.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Highway Safety Act of 1966 as Amended by PL 114-94 Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016 • Develop and support enforcement and education strategies aimed at improving walking and biking safety in communities with high numbers or rates of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities. • Enlist the assistance of employers by developing and disseminating a set of employer-focused road safety resources that can be provided to employees in the private sector. • Provide resources to assist judges and court administrators in adjudication and management of impaired driving and other highway safety cases. • Support an internship in NHTSA for the “Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)” Student of the Year. The purpose is to mentor and cultivate today’s young leaders, strengthen their understanding of highway safety, and prepare them for future public service opportunities.
Fiscal Year 2017 Development of new approaches and strategies for reaching middle schoolers (tweens) on the importance of seat belt use. Development and implementation of State programs which identify and demonstrate a sustained ability to support and collaboratively work with local jurisdictions to implement older driver safety strategies aimed at reducing older driver (and pedestrian) fatalities and injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes. Improve medical care to injured persons by improving data linkage and sharing between EMS agencies and hospitals and to develop a consensus-based list of outcome variables based upon best practices in data linkage at the State, regional and local levels.
Fiscal Year 2020 During FY 2020, States used these funds for a variety of traffic safety issues including participation in the Click It or Ticket national mobilization for seat belt use; participation in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over alcohol impaired driving crackdown; participation in Child Passenger Safety Week and Distracted Driving Week activities. States also utilized these funds to provide educational events such as inspection stations where parents and caregivers can learn how to properly secure their children in car seats. States used these funds for motorcycle safety awareness campaigns and training, updating databases and conducting programmatic assessments in an effort to gain insight into ways to improve their programs.
Fiscal Year 2021 SUPPORT FOR ROAD TO ZERO COALITION INITIATIVES - To support demonstration projects that contribute to the goal to eliminate roadway deaths by 2050. To meet this purpose, the objectives include the development of safety countermeasures and programs that improve traffic safety; developing a Safe Systems approach to eliminate fatal and serious injuries for all road users; developing a methodology to improve safety technology transfer; ensuring traffic safety programs and activities provide safety for all and result in fair, just and impartial treatment of all individuals; and developing programs to educate safety practitioners, officials and motorists on traffic safety.
Fiscal Year 2022 SPORTS-RELATED CAUSE MARKETING EFFORTS - To provide technical and limited financial support to develop strategies to help reduce impaired driving by sports and entertainment fans. To demonstrate the effectiveness of anti-impaired driving and occupant protection messages that align with NHTSA’s traffic safety mission.


Federal Grants Resources