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Legislation introduced to find alternative Highway Trust Fund revenues

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Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03) has introduced H.R.383, the Road User Charge Advancement Act of 2021, legislation that would build on the Surface Transportation Systems Funding Alternatives (STSFA) program included in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The bill was originally introduced during the last Congress and included in the Moving Forward Act. If it secures passage this Congress, it would nearly double current funding to $35 million annually for STSFA.

The STSFA program incentivizes states to find alternative funding solutions for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), as a reliance on revenues from the current gas tax becomes a less feasible method of keeping the HTF solvent. The federal gas tax has lost nearly 71% of its purchasing power since its most recent rate increase in 1993 due to inflation and the increase in fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel vehicles.  Failure to develop new sources of revenue could see the HTF experience a $190 billion shortfall in the next decade.

USDOT releases 'Automated Vehicles Comprehensive Plan'

The plan is available on the Federal Register for public comments

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The U.S. Department of Transportation this week released an “Automated Vehicles Comprehensive Plan”  (AVCP) that details a multi-pronged approach that “prioritizes safety while preparing for the future of transportation,” according to a statement announcing the plan.

“This comprehensive plan lays out a vision for the safe integration of automated vehicles into America’s transportation system while ensuring that legitimate concerns about safety, security and privacy are addressed,” Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in the statement.

Public comments should be made within 60 days of the posting.

ATSSA announces strategic reorganization

Realignments and promotions allow ATSSA to better serve membership

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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (Dec. 7, 2020) – ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner announced a realignment of two of the Association’s vice presidents to better serve its members and most effectively address the multitude of vital issues facing the roadway safety infrastructure industry.

“This decision was made to address the many issues we face as an industry devoted to working toward zero deaths. I wanted to best utilize the talented people we have on our team,” Tetschner said.

Nate Smith’s role will expand to include Member Engagement as he continues leading ATSSA’s Government Relations strategy. Donna Clark becomes Vice President of Education and Technical Services.

ATSSA holding Town Hall on the election’s impact on roadway safety

Register now for Tuesday’s live online event

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Join ATSSA Vice President of Government Relations Nate Smith on Tuesday for a Town Hall addressing the impact of the state and federal elections on roadway safety.

Smith will discuss how the Nov. 3 election results will influence roadway safety policies and priorities in 2021 and for years to come, including the question of how our nation continues to respond to COVID-19.

Register now for this online event held Tuesday at 1 p.m. EST.

NHTSA declares October 'Pedestrian Safety Month'

Goal is to encourage alertness by motorists

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Pedestrians take the forefront in October with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) holding its first “Pedestrian Safety Month,” a national educational outreach to heighten awareness for motorists and pedestrians of all ages.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) held a Summit on Pedestrian Safety in July during which groups representing both pedestrian and bicyclist organizations took part.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Safety offers a “focused approach” program to target specific issues including pedestrian and bicyclist safety in jurisdictions across the nation. It offers examples of programs that have undertaken changes to target this issue.

Congressional leaders address ATSSA members during Legislative Briefing & Virtual Fly-In

ATSSA Members are scheduled for 54 meetings with U.S. legislators on Wednesday

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ATSSA members heard from three members of Congress and a U.S. Senator today during the first day of the Association’s two-day Legislative Briefing & Fly-In.

This year’s event was handled via virtual format with nearly 70 people taking part from across the country. Two members of Congress spoke from their Capitol Hill offices.

On Wednesday, ATSSA members are scheduled for 54 meetings with federal legislators or their staff members.

Don’t miss ATSSA’s Legislative Briefing & Virtual Fly-In on Sept. 15-16

Get a taste of legislative advocacy without the D.C. travel

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ATSSA’s 2020 Legislative Briefing & Fly-In has gone virtual, offering members the opportunity to participate without traveling to the nation’s capital.

“If you’ve never taken part, this year’s event provides a great way to get a glimpse into legislative advocacy from the comfort of your home or office,” said ATSSA Vice President of Government Relations Nate Smith. “The Legislative Briefing & Fly-In gives ATSSA members the unique opportunity to interact directly with lawmakers and have their issues and priorities heard.”

The Sept. 15-16 event is free to members but the deadline to register is Sept. 7.

TRIP releases report on status of nation’s interstates

Report says U.S. system needs to be “rebuilt and expanded” to meet the nation’s needs

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TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit, this morning released its latest report on the status of the nation’s interstates. It found that the U.S. interstate system “will need to be rebuilt and expanded to meet the nation’s growing transportation needs,” according to a statement from TRIP.

The report, “Restoring the Interstate Highway System: Meeting American’s Transportation Needs with a Reliable, Safe & Well-Maintained National Highway Network,” ranked state highway systems on several categories.

FCC extends deadline for replies to comments on 5.9 GHz band proposal

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The Federal Communications Commission’s Office of Engineering and Technology granted a 21-day extension of the deadline for submitting replies to comments regarding a proposed rule change regarding the 5.9 GHz band, also commonly referred to as the "safety spectrum."

The new deadline of April 27 resulted from the extensive comments submitted and disruptions caused by COVID-19.

ATSSA president urges lieutenant governors to declare roadway industry workers “essential”

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner sent a letter to the nation’s lieutenant governors today, asking them to declare ATSSA members in the category of “essential critical infrastructure workers” as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“Although ATSSA members fall into the categories outlined by DHS as essential, we urge you and the Governor to explicitly indicate that these industries in your state be deemed essential,” Tetschner wrote.

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