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What MAP-21 Legislation Means for Traffic Safety Products

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 6, 2012, provides $105 billion in funding to improve the US transportation system.  This act is of vital importance to anyone concerned with the manufacture, sale, or use of  traffic safety products.


The act focuses on the following areas:

  • Establishing national goals for infrastructure improvement
  • Holding transportation agencies more accountable for results
  • Increasing transparency in the transportation decision and implementation process


The overarching purpose of MAP-21 is to make US highways safer and more efficient for all drivers.  To accomplish this, the law creates national goals and prescribes how to measure progress, and uses accountability and transparency to ensure that the goals are met.  Its specific objectives include the following:

  • Improved pavement conditions throughout the National Highway System (NHS)
  • Improved bridge conditions throughout the NHS
  • Reduced number of fatal and injury-causing accidents that occur on the NHS
  • Reduced traffic congestion throughout the NHS
  • Reduced vehicle emissions from the NHS
  • Improved efficiency of freight movement across the NHS
  • Upon achieving a state of good repair across the NHS, maintaining that state for the long term
  • Reduced amount of project-related downtime throughout the NHS


The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has created nine rulemakings to implement these goals; see below for a summary.


Metropolitan and Statewide Planning Rule

Creates performance-based planning processes at the state and metropolitan levels.  It links every phase of planning to specific planning targets.


Highway Safety Rules

These break down into three separate rules:

  • The Safety Performance Measure Rule—defines the guidelines for measuring numbers of traffic-related fatalities and injuries. It also establishes safety enhancement goals and prescribes how to measure progress toward them.
  • The Highway Improvement Safety Rule—governs how funds may be spent for highway improvement projects.
  • The Highway Safety Program Grants Rule—establishes the minimum standards each state must reach to receive grants for traffic safety systems.


Highway Conditions Rules

  • Pavement and Bridge Performance Measure Rule—governs how to measure the current condition of pavement and bridges.
  • Asset Management Plan Rule—defines how to measure state progress toward infrastructure improvement goals.


Congestion/System Performance Rule

This is summarized in the System Performance Measure Rule, which defines how to measure congestion on federal and non-federal highways.


Transit Performance Rule

  1. Transit State of Good Repair Rule—defines what the term “good repair” means when applied to specific road systems.
  2. Transit Safety Plan Rule—governs regulations for transit safety.  It also establishes content and reporting requirements for agencies that are responsible for enforcing the regulations.


Further information on these rules is available in the publication “MAP-21: Putting Performance into Action,” which can be found in PDF format at the Federal Highway Administration website.


FAQs about MAP-21

Q: Can grant funds be used to purchase buses?

A: Yes, under Sections 5307, 5311, 5337, and 5339.


Q: Concerning Section 5310, “Formula Grants for the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities,” how will funds be disbursed to small urbanized and large urbanized areas?

A: Small urbanized areas will receive the funds from their respective states. Large urbanized areas will receive monies directly from the funds designated for Section 5310.


Q: Where can I find a full list of questions and answers for MAP-21?

A: A comprehensive list of the most commonly asked questions, along with their answers, is available at the Federal Transit Administration website.


For more information on traffic safety products that can help meet the goals of MAP-21, contact Impact Recovery Systems today at 1-800-736-5256.