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Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) Grant

Grants to California Government Agencies to Improve
Road Safety and Reduce Traffic Fatalities

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California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS)

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Grants to California government agencies to improve roadway safety and prevent injuries and fatalities resulting from traffic incidents. Please note that while nonprofits may not apply directly, they may provide services to eligible government agencies as a contractor.

California’s HSP addresses NHTSA’s priority program areas and others including the following:
-Alcohol and Drug Impaired Driving
-Distracted Driving
-Emergency Medical Services (crash-related)
-Motorcycle Safety
-Occupant Protection
-Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety
-Police Traffic Services
-Public Relations, Advertising, and Marketing Program
-Traffic Records

Grant Types & Application Process/Review:

Two types of grants are available – General grants and Grants Made Easy (GME). A qualifying government agency determines which type to use based on the problem to be addressed. Problem identification should be determined through analysis of local crash data, as well as data from the California Highway Patrol Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) and the OTS rankings for California cities and counties. The rankings, which are developed using the Empirical Bayesian Ranking or EB Method, factor in not only population and daily vehicle miles traveled, but also crash records and trends. This results in a single, more accurate ranking. Rankings are available addressing fatalities and injuries; alcohol; motorcyclists; pedestrians; bicyclists; speed-related, hit and run, and nighttime collisions; composite; and DUI arrests.

A government agency should apply for a General grant if it is seeking funding to address traffic safety problems other than what are listed on a GME. Unlike a GME, which includes pre-determined goals, objectives and activities by focus area (i.e., Selective Traffic Enforcement, Probation, Vertical Prosecution, EMS, Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety, and Occupant Protection), a General grant may be customized. Both grant types, however, require the applicant to provide a detailed problem statement supported by data that thoroughly documents the problem. Additionally, the agency must also describe how it will work to solve the problem (strategies), what resources it will leverage to implement the intervention as well as manage the grant (agency qualifications), and a plan for reducing reliance on federal grant funding in the future (sustainability).

Both grants also call for goals and objectives (as indicated previously these are pre-determined for GMEs) that are specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-framed (SMART). General and GME grants also outline media, data collection and reporting, evaluation, and administrative support requirements. The application must include a detailed budget estimate with supporting narrative, that includes all cost categories – personnel costs, travel expenses, contractual services, equipment ($5,000 or more per unit), and direct and indirect costs – and individual line items. While not required, it is strongly recommended that the grant application include a letter(s) of support from the governing body (i.e., Board of Supervisors, City Council).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 168076

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The OTS partners with political subdivisions of the state to address California’s highway safety needs at the state, county and local level.

The OTS cannot directly fund a 501c(3) nonprofit organization; however, these entities are eligible for funding through a “host” government agency (subrecipient) as a contractor.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The California Office of Traffic Safety will be hosting several meetings in December and January to discuss the application process for the Federal Fiscal Year 2019 grants. Applicants are invited to meet with staff to discuss available traffic safety grant programs.

The workshop schedule and registration may be found here:

Pre-Application Information:

All grant applications are due January 30.

-October: OTS announces upcoming grant application period
-Nov-Dec.: OTS conducts grant workshops
-January: Review multi-year grant performance
-January 30: Deadline to submit grant applications to OTS
-Feb-April: OTS reviews and ranks grant applications
-April: OTS submits grants to CalSTA for approval
-May: OTS notifies grantees of grant application status OTS holds pre-HSP meeting with NHTSA
-June-August: OTS holds pre-funding meetings with grantees (as needed). OTS develops grant agreements. OTS sends grant agreements to grantees for review & signatures
-July: OTS submits HSP to NHTSA
-September: Signed grant agreements due at OTS
-September 30: End of federal fiscal year
-October: Grant year begins
-Oct-Nov.: OTS holds pre-operation meetings with grantees

More information about priority areas may be found here:

Grant Electronic Management System Information:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

If you have questions about the GPM or recommendations for correction/revision, please contact your OTS Coordinator.

Office of Traffic Safety
2208 Kausen Drive, Suite 300
Elk Grove, CA 95758

(916) 509-3030

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California