Summary: Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) awards Federal highway safety grant funds to local, state and not-for-profit agencies for projects to improve highway safety and reduce deaths and serious injuries due to crashes.
The New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) coordinates traffic safety activities in the state. Through this website, the GTSC seeks to share timely, accurate and useful news, information and other resources about traffic safety and the state's highway safety grant program. Grant program applications, program management forms and local and state crash and ticket data are posted. These resources are available for both the professional partners and the citizens of New York State.
In 1966, an act of Congress created the National Highway Safety Program. It provides that "each State shall have a highway safety program...designed to reduce traffic accidents and deaths, injuries and property damage resulting there from." A chain of responsibility for implementing highway safety programs was established.
At the national level the program is administered by two agencies of the U.S. Department of Transportation; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). These agencies develop overall policy, conduct national research and monitor state programs.
In New York, the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) coordinates statewide traffic safety activities. The Committee promotes and supports the state's highway safety program to provide for the safe transportation of people and goods on New York's roadways. The staff of the GTSC manage the state highway safety program by reviewing and monitoring grant programs, coordinating special programs such as the Child Passenger Safety or the Drug Recognition Effort officer programs, and by providing guidance and oversight to state and local agencies. By statute, the Committee is comprised of the heads of the twelve state agencies with missions related to transportation and safety. The GTSC is chaired by the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and as a state department is also housed in the DMV. The Committee acts as the state's official liaison with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The state's Vehicle & Traffic Law established a local government link though community traffic safety boards. A Traffic Safety Board may be established by any county or jurisdiction with a population in excess of 50,000 residents. Normally comprised of persons with a professional interest in traffic safety, these community boards coordinate local programs and approve grant applications prepared by municipal agencies from their jurisdiction, before they submit applications to the GTSC. By policy, the GTSC requires all municipal and not-for-profit local agency applications to have the endorsement of the county traffic safety board.
The GTSC also works closely with this network of state and local agencies, non-profit organizations and private-sector partners to deliver quality traffic safety projects, services, and information across the state.
The initial federal enabling legislation, and state law and executive orders.
The GTSC grant program is structured on the federal fiscal year, which runs from October 1st to September 30th. The following is an overview of the grant process and the timeline, deadlines and other requirements related to grant program funding.
HIGHWAY SAFETY PLAN
Each year, after analyzing crash data and conducting program research, the GTSC, with oversight from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and input from local agencies determines those program areas to be given funding priorities. These program areas represent the most critical statewide traffic safety needs. Available funds are allocated to proposed projects that fall within the identified program areas.
Projects to be conducted with the support of funding from the National Highway Safety Program are included in the New York State's Highway Safety Strategic Plan (pdf document), which is prepared annually and submitted to NHTSA for approval prior to the beginning of federal fiscal year. NHTSA's approval is required for the state to receive its funding award.
Having identified its statewide priorities, the GTSC sends its "call letter" request for applications early in the calendar year. The letter outlines the issues NHTSA and GTSC have identified as national and state priorities, and seeks participation from highway safety partners at the state and local level to address these issues.
APPLYING FOR A HIGHWAY SAFETY GRANT
Who May Apply
State agencies, political subdivisions of the state, such as counties, towns, villages or not-for-profit organizations that have oversight for highway safety or serve a population that is in need of highway safety program services that could be delivered by the applicant may apply. The GTSC does not fund for-profit agencies. All nonprofit agencies must enroll in the New York State Grants Gateway http://grantsreform.ny.gov/Grantees, enter the required documentation and be approved in order to be eligible for GTSC grant funding.
How to Apply
Apply on-line through the eGrants system at SafeNY.ny.gov. All applications MUST be submitted through the eGrants system by May 15. Local applications must be endorsed by the Chair of the County Traffic Safety Board (TSB) and be returned to the GTSC. The endorsement page is printed from the eGrants system. Contact your County Traffic Safety Board as to the process for having your application endorsed.
HS grant applications received by May 15th receive first priority but the GTSC may consider applications that arrive later (HS grants only). Late applications are considered if sufficient Federal funds are available, if additional funds are awarded to the state, if a region or population is underserved, or if the GTSC participates in a directed safety program with federal or state agencies.
Grants are funded for a one year period, with the possible option of up to two additional one year period for renewal, based on the availability of federal funding and the performance of the grantee. The cycle begins with October 1 approval dates and ends September 30 of the next year. Applicants must reapply each year for any subsequent year's funding. Some structured projects may have more compressed project lifecycles, any variance from the regular schedule will be contained on the application and in the project agreement/contracts.
The general highway safety grant programs for state, local and not-for-profit agencies require a narrative application. The instructions and criteria related to the application process for general program grants are provided in the "Guide to Preparing Highway Safety Grant Applications." The guides are included with the form downloads. Structured program applications, Child Passenger Safety and Police Traffic Services, do not require the applicant to write a narrative request. In these programs, the applicant must provide the information as directed in the forms and agree to comply with the work plan specified by GTSC.
Grant awards are based on past performance of the applicant, completeness of the application, demonstration of need, reasonableness of budget, formulation of a suitable work plan and agreement to the perform grant activities.
Project applications are checked for compliance with federal highway safety standards and the state highway safety plan. Each application is given an identifying project number and is assigned to the appropriate staff for review and processing.
General and structured grants to state, local and not-for profit applications are reviewed by GTSC staff using criteria based on past performance of the applicant and adherence to the format that the GTSC publishes in the RFA.
When reviewing an application, the GTSC may request additional information or some modification to the application's plan or budget, making the application suitable for approval if revisions are made. In such cases, the program representative will work with the applicant to have the changes made and the application revised.
After any revisions are made, and staff and management have reviewed the application and recommend approval, the GTSC Committee members are notified of the intent to fund the application via email. The GTSC Committee may comment on or make a recommendation regarding funding within a 5-day comment period. Finally the recommendation to fund the application is send to the GTSC Chair for approval. Project applicants are notified in writing of the decision of the Committee whether the application is approved or denied.
GRANT RECIPIENT REPORTING AND VOUCHERING REQUIREMENTS
The grant cycle coincides with the federal fiscal year.
Grantees are required to report twice, once midway through the grant year, April 15 and with a final report, due 15 days after the end of the grant year. Some structured grant projects may have additional reporting requirements which will be stated on the application. Vouchers for reimbursement must be received by the GTSC by October 31. The GTSC cannot pay vouchers that arrive after October 31.
Federal highway safety funds are meant to be used as seed money. Grant projects are funded for one year periods, with the possible option of up to two additional one year periods for renewal, based on the availability of federal funding and the performance of the grantee.
The Committee membership is established by executive order to include agencies with programs that are highway safety related. Currently, there are twelve (12) member agencies. The head of each agency acts as the agency's official representative to the Committee, with the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles serving as the Chair.
The Committee meets as requested by the Chair. Discussion at the meetings may include legislative coordination, program briefings, goal setting, or any other issues the members feel should be included. The member agencies are:
Chair, Commissioner, Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Superintendent, Division of State Police (DSP)
Commissioner, Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS)
Commissioner, Department of Health (DOH)
Commissioner, State Education Department (SED)
Commissioner, Department of Transportation (DOT)
Secretary, Department of State (DOS)
Commissioner, Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS)
Superintendent, Department of Financial Services
Chair, NYS Thruway Authority
Chair, State Liquor Authority (SLA)
Also participating - The Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the Director of State Office for the Aging have been asked to participate in the Committee but these agencies are not listed in the Executive Order. You may read the Executive Order.
(See our Staff Directory)
The Committee maintains a staff which carries out the day to day functions of the highway safety office including planning, the grants program and safety program activities. The highway safety grants program is the single most important responsibility of GTSC. The Executive Director is responsible for overall staff operations. The GTSC Highway Safety Program Representatives and Analysts have grant responsibilities, oversee the STOP-DWI program, participate in the various committees devoted to highway safety issues, are responsible for the planning, administration, monitoring, and evaluation of a wide range of statewide traffic safety, education program activities. Fiscal staff perform the required administrative record keeping. This involves the processing of payments, contracts, etc. Another feature of grant processing is accounting for funds to Division of the Budget (DOB), the Federal oversight agencies and to the State Comptroller.
GTSC staff interact with the county traffic safety boards and also participate in various committees on issues for which the member agencies have overlapping interest. These groups propose initiatives, develop recommendations and solve operation and implementation problems for the many programs coordinated by GTSC. These statewide committees include but are not limited to: NYS Partnership for Walk Our Children to School (WOCS), NYS Partnership Against Drowsy Driving, Older Driver Assistance Network, Drug Recognition Expert and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (DRE & SFST) Steering Committee, NYS Association of Traffic Safety Boards (Various sub-committees and working groups), Child Passenger Safety Steering Committee, Traffic Records Coordinating Committee, NYS Operation Lifesaver, New York Association for Pupil Transportation - Operation Safe Stop Committee, Walkable Communities, Capital District Safe Kids Coalition.