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Leveraging the Infrastructure Bill and Driving Data for Safer Roads


  • Funds Available in the Infrastructure Bill
  • The Specific Road Safety Projects Included as part of Road Infrastructure
  • Driving Data can help Secure Road Safety Fund Requests
  • Michelin DDi can Boost Your Infrastructure Bill Funding Requests

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The Infrastructure Bill, signed in November 2021, is a wellspring for American infrastructure. It provides $1.2 trillion, including $550 billion in new investments, in much needed funding for airports, highways, ports and public transportation. Cities, states and regions can renovate, renew and replace parts of their transportation system – for the general benefit of their economies and citizens. In terms of road safety, the bill places emphasis on Vision Zero safety plans – and data for justifying project requests and outcomes.

Funds Available in the Infrastructure Bill

Without going into full detail, the Infrastructure Bill covers categories including passenger and freight rail, broadband, ports and waterways, and environmental remediation, with amounts ranging from $16 billion to $66 billion. From cleaning to repair and access to resiliency, efforts are squarely centered around upgrading system and service levels.

As for transportation, three major categories are addressed.

Roads, Bridges and Major Projects – $110 billion

The focus is on surface transportation programs as well as extra funding to repair roads and bridges. There is also money set aside for major transformational projects.

Public Transportation – $39 billion

Authorities can boost this segment through repairing public transportation infrastructure, including buses, railcars, stations and tracks, and the signals and power that make them run. Zero-emission vehicles are to replace older versions. Lower greenhouse gas emissions require modernizing the system.

Safety – $11 billion

The $11 billion Safety envelope includes a new program for replacing cast iron and bare steel natural gas pipelines for improving hazardous materials safety.

Which brings us to the support for the issue that caused 42,915 road deaths in 2021. For existing programs dedicated to improving the safety of people and vehicles in the transportation system, this part of the budget addresses highways, vehicles and trucks as well as pedestrians, and seeks to invest in drunk driving prevention technologies.

As of May 2022, $110 billion already Awarded

At the 6-month anniversary of the Infrastructure bill being passed, $110 billion had already been signed into action and was on its way to all 50 States to fund 4,300 projects. The first wave of bids was focused on major programs. Grants were primarily awarded for airport infrastructure, and to a lesser extent resilience, ports and waterway projects.

The Specific Road Safety Projects Included as part of Road Infrastructure

Drawing on Driving Data for Transportation System Safety

There are two programs of note that specifically address reducing fatalities and serious injuries on the road. Driving data can provide valuable information and actionable insights for both. One is the vulnerable road user safety assessment, and the other is the Safe Streets and Roads for All program.

Vulnerable Road User Safety Assessment

In section 11111, Highway Safety Improvement Program, the Infrastructure Bill requires all States to complete an assessment of danger to vulnerable road users in their transportation network, analyzing fatalities and serious injury. Specifically mentioned is a quantitative analysis that  
  • “1/ includes data such as location, roadway functional classification, design speed, speed limit, and time of day;
  • 2/ considers the demographics of the locations of fatalities and serious injuries, including race, ethnicity, income, and age; and
  • 3/ based on the data, identifies areas as ‘high-risk’ to vulnerable road users.”

Following the study, States will have to design strategies to mitigate safety risks for these users, in areas that have been identified as high-risk.

Safe Streets and Roads for All

Section 24112, Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) has as its objective helping states and localities reduce crashes and fatalities in their communities, especially among vulnerable road users. In fact, if vulnerable road users represent 15% of total annual car crash fatalities in a State, the State must devote 15% of grants received to addressing the safety problems for these users on their roads. The starting point to be eligible for winning a grant is to have a comprehensive safety action plan in place. Grant applications opened in May 2022, and close on September 15th 2022.

Driving Data can help Secure Road Safety Fund Requests

The Whitehouse.gov web site outlines the four steps in transferring money from federal to local governments.

  • Vote the budget: The budget is proposed and signed into law – which Congress did in November 2021 with the Infrastructure Bill.
  • Design programs and how they work: Government agencies plan how the programs they’re responsible for will work. For competitive programs, they determine how they will review applications. Eligible entities then apply and compete for funding. With non-competitive grants, agencies use calculations to decide how much to award.
  • Award money: Winning applications receive funding based on the competitive review process, or for non-competitive projects, specific choices are made with communities. In both cases, recipients and agencies must agree to the conditions linked to the award, at which time the money is transferred.
  • Report on outcomes: Recipients realize their projects. They report on how the funding was used and the results obtained, as required by the reward conditions.

Steps 2 and 4 in the above process require driving data. To apply for funding, driving data provides a “before” picture of the road safety problems being faced. Specific KPIs are highlighted according to grant requirements, and which can be improved thanks to funding received. Following the reception of funds and the implementation of safety measures, driving data indicates improvements realized and the change in KPIs.

Michelin DDi can Boost Your Infrastructure Bill Funding Requests

The Infrastructure Bill also explicitly states that new technology and innovative safety strategies are welcome, and that they should aim to improve road safety over a wide geographic area.

Michelin DDi’s driving data and its focus on driver behavior goes beyond crash data. The driving events that it captures and measures across an entire transportation network serve as your KPIs. With them, you analyze road safety problems and locations. A “before” study will locate risky road zones and rank them in terms of severity and the likelihood of a crash happening. They help you make decisions as to how to improve safety. An “after” study helps you evaluate implemented measures.

With Michelin DDi’s driving data expertise, you get actionable insights and KPIs that support your grant request. You have facts on which to base your strategy for improving overall road safety, and to report on improvements in road safety – to citizens and the grant committee.

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