Applying for Highway Safety Grants
Grants are awarded every Federal Fiscal Year to address identified highway safety initiatives. This page will outline best practices, how to apply, and up-to-date information.
The MVA’s Highway Safety Office 2024 grant application process for Federal Fiscal Year 2025 (October 1, 2024 – September 30, 2025) and State Fiscal Year 2025 (July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025) will open on January 8, 2024.
However, we are always interested in discussing new and innovative behavioral traffic safety projects that will help reduce death and injuries on our roads. Be sure to read all the best practices below for a full understanding of what projects we can fund and then reach out to us at MHSO@mdot.maryland.gov with a short description of your idea. One of our program managers will contact you directly.
Organizations eligible for grant awards include State, County, and local governments; law enforcement agencies; non-profit organizations; institutions of higher education; and hospitals. The purpose of the highway safety grant program is to fund activities aimed at reducing the number of motor vehicle crashes, and related deaths and injuries on Maryland roadways.
General grant applicants are encouraged to develop proposals for outreach initiatives that focus on Maryland’s highway safety priorities: impaired driving prevention, distracted driving prevention, speeding and aggressive driving prevention, occupant protection, and the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, young, older drivers, and traffic safety.
When completing an application to receive federal and or state funds, the below best practices are suggested.
When completing the Problem Statement portion of the application, the following questions should be answered:
- WHAT is the problem you will be seeking to address?
- What are the effects of the problem and WHO is being affected?
- What EVIDENCE can you provide that there is a problem – do you have data to back up the description of the problem?
- What is the history of the problem within the jurisdiction and what steps have been taken previously to address the problem?
When completing the Proposed Solution portion of the application, the following questions should be answered:
- HOW will your project address the issue described in the problem statement?
- HOW will your project change the numbers of those effected by this problem?
- WHAT are the steps you plan to take to address the issue?
- What methods will you use to create a long-term change in this problem?
The Action Steps portion of the application should include the following information:
- Action steps should be specific and progressive steps showing the activities being conducted to accomplish the proposed solution.
- Action steps should describe the activity in terms of what, when, and where so that someone evaluating the application is clear on what activities are being done.
- Action steps should show any planning activities, program activities, and follow-up activities that are necessary to meet the goals of the proposed solution.
- Action steps should be reflected in the line items requested related to that activity or materials.
- Action steps should be reasonable and attainable within the time frame of the grant.
The Goals portion of the application should include the following information:
- Goals should be measurable in clear numbers – numbers of activities, numbers of events, numbers of materials being distributed, expected event attendance or survey participants, etc.
- Goals should be reasonable and attainable within the time frame of the grant.
- Conducting a program – how many programs, how many attendees?
- Creating/distributing materials – how many will be distributed?
- Conducting a survey – how many will be distributed, what is the expected return rate?
The Timeline portion of the application should include the following information:
- The timeline should reflect the flow of the grant activities to achieve the outcomes within the time frame of the grant. Evaluate the number of weeks/months needed to complete each activity, allowing enough time to evaluate the success of the activities.
- The timeline should reflect your step-by-step plan to complete activities by the end of the grant period. Be as specific as possible rather than just indicating everything will be completed by the grant end date.
When completing the Evaluation Steps portion of the application, the evaluation steps should address two types of evaluation – how will you assess the success/difficulties in completing the grant activities, and how will you assess the impact of the activities towards achieving the goal of addressing the problem described in the problem statement.
You should describe how you will evaluate the success of your grant program. Based on the goals and the timelines in the grant, list how you will assess each action step based on the measurable plans listed. In addition to the level of success in achieving each action step, give a description of how you will assess the overall success of the program in addressing the problem statement.
The Salary and Benefits portion of the application should include the following information:
- Annual Salary and Benefits are the person’s total salary – not just what is paid through the grant.
- A job description describing the activities related to the grant, must be attached for EACH position.
- A signed document, showing the current salary and benefits for EACH person listed on the grant.
The Training Conference/Accommodations portion of the application should include the following information:
- A specific description including the conference name, dates, and location (if known). If this information is not available, pre-approval will be required prior to attendance.
- List what is covered such as registration, hotel, transportation, etc.
The Mileage portion of the application should include the following information:
- The number of miles
- The number of trips
The Contractual Services portion of the application should include the following information:
- Costs for which the grantee will be entering into a contract/agreement with a vendor for specific goods and or services.
- The potential contract. If it has not been created at the time of the application, it must be submitted into GPS and approved by MHSO prior to ANY reimbursable expenses being incurred under the contract.
The Equipment portion of the application should include the following information:
- A detailed description
- The MHSO procurement process – 3 quotes (state preferred providers, Buy America, etc.)
- Please note, any equipment that is more than $5,000 per item (including all parts needed to be operational) requires approval through NHTSA prior to purchase.
The Other Direct Costs portion of the application should include the following information:
- Items/services needed to complete the grant project, that are not purchased through a contract
- Printed materials (ex: coloring books, pledge cards, educational booklets/pamphlets)
- Printing supplies (ex: paper, ink, cartridges)
- Mailing supplies (ex: envelopes, postage)
- Services for conferences or training – speaker honorarium, facility fees, table coverings, etc.