Safety is a key component of the federal performance-based planning process. FHWA published the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Final Rule and Safety Performance Management Measures Final Rule on March 15, 2016 (effective date of April 14, 2016) to help significantly reduce fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads.


Performance Measures & Targets

The safety performance measures in the table below were established as part of the Safety Performance Management Measures Final Rule. State DOTs and MPOs are required to establish and report performance targets annually for each measure. Initial safety targets were due to FHWA by August 31, 2017 for DOTs, and by February 27, 2018 by MPOs – the MPO has 180 days from the date the State DOT’s targets are set to establish its targets. The MPO can either adopt the State DOT’s targets or develop its own quantitative targets.

NCDOT established its most recent safety targets in August 2019. Key facts are:

  • Targets for each performance measure are based on 5-year rolling averages
  • Targets are for calendar years
  • Targets will be established annually
  • NCDOT will coordinate with MPOs to establish targets
  • NCDOT’s targets call for a 50 percent reduction in the five metrics identified (by 2030).

The GCLMPO coordinated with NCDOT and adopted the state’s most recent safety performance targets on January 23, 2020. The NCDOT safety performance targets are listed below:




Number of Fatalities 1,227.8 (6.23% reduction)
Rate of Serious Injuries per Million VMT 1,084 (5.39% reduction)
Number of Serious Injuries 2,812.8 (4.75% reduction)
Rate of Serious Injuries per Million VMT 2,462 (7.64% reduction)
Number of Non-Motorized Fatalities and Non-Motorized Serious Injuries 426.6 (7.13% reduction)



As part of the Safety Performance Management Measures Final Rule, State DOTs are required to update their Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) every five years. An SHSP is a statewide-coordinated safety plan that identifies a State’s key safety needs and guides investment decisions toward strategies and countermeasures with the most potential to save lives and prevent injuries.

NCDOT’s current SHSP was developed in 2014. GCLMPO coordinates with NCDOT on the development of this plan.



State DOTs report safety targets annually in their State HSIP Reports. NCDOT’s HSIP Report can be found here. GCLMPO coordinates with NCDOT on the development of this plan. GCLMPO reports its safety targets to NCDOT annually via resolution.


Accountability & Transparency

FHWA assesses if State DOTs have made significant progress towards achieving their targets on an annual basis. The assessment begins in December and findings are reported to the DOT by March. Significant progress is made if the DOT has met four of its five targets or the actual outcome for the target is better than baseline performance.

If the State DOT does not meet or make significant progress toward meeting its targets, it must use obligation authority equal to the HSIP apportionment for the fiscal year (FY) prior to the target year (only for HSIP projects) and submit an HSIP Implementation Plan to FHWA.

MPOs do not currently face repercussions if significant progress is not made toward meeting their targets.