U.S. DOT address traffic fatalities by improving local roads

February 3, 2023

Tyson Fisher


The Biden administration has released $800 million for more than 500 infrastructure projects that improve roads and address traffic fatalities.

According to a U.S. Department of Transportation news release, the money is being funneled through the Safe Streets and Roads for All grant program. Established through President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the grant will provide $5 billion over five years for projects that prevent deaths and serious injuries on the nation’s roadways.

Among the projects receiving funding through this first round of grants:

  • $19.7 million for Hillsborough County, Fla., to implement low-cost and proven safety measures including sidewalks, bicycle lanes and speed management to improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and drivers at approximately 22 locations in the county.
  • $10.4 million for Fayette County, Iowa, to address roadway departure crashes along approximately 50 miles of roadway through shoulder widening, rumble strips and other low-cost treatments. Lane departure crashes account for nearly 60% of the fatalities and serious injuries in the area.
  • $24.8 million for Detroit to redesign existing transportation infrastructure in high crash areas and places with inadequate pedestrian infrastructure to focus on pedestrian and bicycle safety, and safer speeds for vehicle traffic.
  • $4.4 million for Charlotte, N.C., to help implement the city’s Vision Zero strategies to reduce risky roadway behavior through infrastructure improvements, with a focus on safer intersections and pedestrian-involved crashes.

According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes cost society around $340 billion in 2019 alone. When quality-of-life valuations are considered, the total value of societal harm from motor vehicle crashes in 2019 was $1.37 trillion. Traffic fatalities reached a 16-year high in 2021.

“Every year, crashes cost tens of thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars to our economy; we face a national emergency on our roadways, and it demands urgent action,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. “We are proud that these grants will directly support hundreds of communities as they prepare steps that are proven to make roadways safer and save lives.”

The Safe Streets and Roads for All grants are broken up into two categories: action plan grants and implementation grants.

Action plan grants “assist communities that do not currently have a roadway safety plan in place to reduce roadway fatalities, laying the groundwork for a comprehensive set of actions,” according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Implementation Grants provide funding for communities to implement strategies and projects that will significantly reduce or eliminate transportation-related fatalities and serious injuries.

Of the 510 Safe Streets and Roads for All grants, more than 90% are action plan grants. LL