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ATSSA’s president will be interviewed Friday on Road Dog News

Stacy Tetschner to discuss roadway safety issues at 2 p.m. ET on SiriusXM

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Tune in to Road Dog News at 2 p.m. ET on Friday to hear ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner.

Tetschner will be discussing roadway safety issues on the Road Dog Trucking radio station.

The program airs on SiriusXM Channel 146. Road Dog News is hosted by Dan Ronan. Ronan is an associate news editor for Transport Topics as well as a part-time news anchor for Road Dog News.

TRIP report analyzes causes of traffic fatality spike and solutions

ATSSA Board Chair Johnson emphasizes collaboration to address trend

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Traffic fatalities in the U.S. rose 19% from 2019-2021, far surpassing U.S. vehicle travel for that period, according to a report released this morning by TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit.

The report, Addressing America’s Traffic Safety Crisis: Examining the Causes of Increasing U.S. Traffic Fatalities and Identifying Solutions to Improve Road User Safety,” takes a closer look at data from the past two years.

“America faces a roadway safety crisis, with motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists fatalities in 2021 reaching their highest level in nearly two decades. The tremendous toll of fatalities and serious injuries that occur on the nation’s roadways are a significant economic and, more critically, personal burden on Americans,” the report notes in its conclusion. “The causes of the recent surge in traffic fatalities in the U.S. appear largely to be the result of the public taking greater risks on the nation’s roadways, including speeding, impaired driving and reduced safety belt use.”

ATSSA members advocating for roadway safety on Capitol Hill today

Legislative Briefing & Fly-In returns to nation’s capital after two virtual events

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ATSSA members from across the country are meeting with legislators on Capitol Hill today, carrying their insights and priorities for roadway safety directly to lawmakers.

Sixty meetings are scheduled with members of the Senate, the House of Representatives and their legislative teams. The goal is to fuel the future of roadway safety by carrying their message directly to the nation’s decision makers.

ATSSA’s two-day Legislative Briefing & Fly-In returned to Washington, D.C., this week after two years as a virtual event because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 50 people representing 17 states and the District of Columbia registered to attend the event, which is a benefit of ATSSA membership.

ATSSA Board Member Cindy Williams testifies before Congress

Williams participates in hearing to address the rise in roadway fatalities

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Today, Cindy Williams, president of Time Striping, president of the Arkansas ATSSA Chapter, and a member of the ATSSA Board of Directors, testified before the Highways and Transit Subcommittee in the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill.

The hearing, entitled “Addressing the Roadway Safety Crisis: Building Safer Roads for All,” focused on the recently released 2021 traffic fatality statistics, and countermeasures that can combat that increase.

“The Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) is a critical component to achieving the goal of Towards Zero Deaths,” Williams said in her testimony. “Having a dedicated funding stream for roadway safety has been critical to addressing safety needs and continuing this program was a bipartisan priority for Congress and ATSSA.”

Discussion during the hearing also focused on rural road safety, something Williams said she understands well from her experience in Arkansas.

Traffic fatalities rose an estimated 10.5% in 2021, reach 16-year high, NHTSA reports

Trend in fatality rate for vehicle miles traveled decreased for three quarters of 2021

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Traffic fatalities across the U.S. rose 10.5% in 2021 to a projected 42,915 deaths, reaching a 16-year high, according to statistics released today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

That projected increase from 38,824 fatalities in 2020 is “the highest number of fatalities since 2005 and the largest annual percentage increase in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System’s history,” NHTSA announced today.

ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner expressed concern over the record-breaking fatality rate.

“ATSSA’s members have devoted their lives to roadway safety and providing the infrastructure and technology needed to save the lives of the motoring public as well as men and women working on our roadways,” Tetschner said. “This unprecedented increase in traffic fatalities brings home the importance of our work and the necessity of government and private industry partnering to provide safe thoroughfares. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which was enacted into law in November, provides historic levels of federal funding for roadway safety infrastructure projects. Departments of transportation around the country, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, must prioritize getting these funds to critical, lifesaving safety projects as soon as possible. We know that safer roads save lives. ATSSA members are ready to go to work with their agency partners to move toward zero deaths on all roads.”

ATSSA Town Hall breaks down IIJA funding, timing

‘Gas tax holidays’ raise concerns, not expected at federal level

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Five months after the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) was signed into law, it’s understandable ATSSA members could be wondering when the money will begin flowing to projects across the country.

That was one of the key discussion points today during an ATSSA Town Hall on the “Economic Impact of the Infrastructure Package on ATSSA Member Companies.”

ATSSA Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith and Kathy Ruffalo, president of consulting firm Ruffalo & Associates, reviewed the funds expected through different programs, the steps to get them accessible and when the first money can be expected.

Smith also talked about the gas tax holiday proposals across the country and ATSSA's efforts against them.

ATSSA leading push against efforts to suspend gas taxes

Members urged to contact their elected representatives and voice their concerns

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ATSSA has launched a nationwide effort to discourage states and Congress from suspending the collection of taxes on gasoline noting the surge in roadway fatalities over the past two years.

Some in Congress and some in state governments across the country have proposed temporarily cutting gas taxes as a way to help consumers amid inflation and sudden hikes in gas prices. However, the temporary measure would not necessarily benefit consumers but would deter improvements to roadway infrastructure at a time when such projects had just received approval for significant funding, ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner noted.

The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) became law in November and includes nearly $23 billion for roadway safety, funding necessary to help move the nation Toward Zero Deaths on its highways.

Federal and state taxes on gasoline and diesel are important sources of revenue for funding roadway safety improvements.

Biden highlights guardrails in State of the Union

Tetschner applauds focus on safety and infrastructure in congressional address

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In championing the passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Joe Biden specifically mentioned “highway guardrails” as a positive outcome of the legislation. This is apparently the first mention of guardrails in the history of these presidential addresses to Congress.

Additionally, Biden announced that the nation would start fixing “over 65,000 miles of highway and 1,500 bridges in disrepair.” That was in addition to 4,000 projects Biden said had already been announced.

ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner commended the emphasis on infrastructure and the specific reference to a proven lifesaving device produced by ATSSA members.

ATSSA CEO sends letter to Senate leaders urging rejection of Gas Prices Relief Act

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner today sent a letter to Senate leaders Charles Schumer and Mitch McConnell urging them to reject the Gas Prices Relief Act.

“On behalf of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) and its over 1500 members, I strongly urge you to oppose the Gas Prices Relief Act. This legislation would strip the main source of funding for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), jeopardizing the implementation of life-saving infrastructure safety programs included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA),” Tetschner wrote.

He noted that at a time when roadway fatalities are increasing, it is not a time to “undercut funding for infrastructure safety projects.”

ATSSA members are encouraged to reach out to their Senators to express their opposition to the proposal.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg delivering keynote remarks

Transportation leader confirmed for ATSSA’s 2022 Convention & Traffic Expo

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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (Feb. 8, 2022) – Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg confirmed today that he will deliver keynote remarks at ATSSA’s 52nd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo.

Buttigieg is expected to discuss the National Roadway Safety Strategy released Jan. 27 by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) as well as provide insights into the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) and its impact on roadway safety.

“We are honored that Transportation Secretary Buttigieg is making the time to address our members and we look forward to hearing his insights pertaining to roadway safety and how our industry can partner with USDOT to dramatically reduce roadway fatalities,” said ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner.

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