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Midyear Meeting general session explores connected technology with Audi and Ford executives

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Executives with Ford and Audi emphasized the importance of collaboration among key stakeholders as connected and autonomous vehicle technology advances.

Tony Reinhart, director of Government Relations for Ford Motor Company, and Brad Stertz, director of Audi Government Affairs and co-founder and chairman of Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE), spoke at this morning’s general session at ATSSA’s Midyear Meeting, which runs through Friday.

After opening remarks, Reinhart and Stertz were joined by ATSSA Board Chair Greg Driskell and ATSSA Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith for a panel that took questions from the group assembled in Kansas City, Mo., for the Midyear Meeting.

Roadway Worker Protection Council holds its first meeting

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Ideas flowed today as ATSSA’s Roadway Worker Protection Council held its first meeting during the Midyear Meeting in Kansas City, Mo.

Nearly 30 people took part where it was agreed the two primary focus areas are mitigating risk in work zones and creating a support plan to be ready when incidents occur.

Doug Dolinar, who lost an employee to a work zone incident last August, was appointed as council chair  and ATSS Foundation Board Chair Dave Krahulec was appointed as vice chair for today’s meeting. An election of officers will take place when the council meets during the 52nd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo in Tampa, Fla., in February.

The plan is to hold the Roadway Worker Protection Council meeting the morning of Monday, Feb. 14 to avoid conflicts with other council and committee meetings at Convention. The Convention & Traffic Expo will be held Feb. 11-15.

ATSSA’s 2021 Midyear Meeting gets underway in Missouri

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ATSSA’s 2021 Midyear Meeting kicks off this afternoon in Kansas City, Mo.

More than 300 people have registered for the event that runs through Friday and is being held in hybrid fashion with some attending in person at the Loews Kansas City Hotel and others taking part online.

The week includes the first meeting of the Roadway Worker Protection Council, which takes place Wednesday and evolved from a Roadway Worker Protection Summit held during this year’s Convention and Traffic Expo.

Senate passes bipartisan infrastructure package

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The Senate today passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The $1.2 trillion plan includes the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act (STRA) that passed through the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee earlier this year.

“ATSSA applauds the passage of this historic investment in roads, bridges and safety,” ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner said. “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will allow ATSSA members to undertake even more lifesaving work on America’s roadways. We are encouraged by the work done in a bipartisan manner in the Senate and strongly urge the House to follow their lead in implementing a robust, long-term and safety-focused infrastructure plan.”

The House will need to also pass the infrastructure plan for it to go into effect. However, members on both sides of the aisle have expressed a weariness toward the Senate version. It is unclear what the plan forward is on the legislation.

Enterprise Holdings Foundation donates $3,500 to The ATSS Foundation

Funds will support the Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarship program

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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (Aug. 9, 2021) – The American Traffic Safety Services Foundation is pleased to announce donations totaling $3,500 from Enterprise Holdings Foundation, which will be used to support the Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarship program.

The ATSS Foundation received $2,000 in June from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation at the request of Massana Construction Inc. of Tyrone, Ga., in memory of Michael Keyser Sr. and his son, Nathaniel Keyser, employees who were killed as a result of a work zone incident on Aug. 8, 2017, in Forney, Texas.

The ATSS Foundation received $1,500 in July from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation at the request of D2K Traffic Safety Inc. of Naperville, Ill.

New federal rule for entry-level CDL training goes into effect in February

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New federal requirements for entry-level driver training for the commercial driver license (CDL) go into effect on Feb. 7.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations for entry-level driver training (ELDT) for CDL licenses were mandated under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21 Century Act (MAP-21).

ELDT regulations establish the baseline for training required for entry-level drivers. They apply to anyone:

  • seeking a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time
  • upgrading an existing Class B CDL to Class A CDL
  • obtaining a first-time school bus (S), passenger (P) or hazardous materials (H) endorsement.

Final action on a Senate infrastructure package could be a week away

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Senate action Wednesday night on a bipartisan infrastructure package starts the clock on the issue but a final vote on the Senate floor could be at least a week away.

The Senate voted 67-32 Wednesday night to proceed to debate on the bipartisan infrastructure package that has been agreed to by a group of 22 Republican and Democrat senators, known as the G-22. Seventeen Republican senators voted to advance the measure. The Biden administration also supported it.

If passed, the legislation would then head to the House, where members of both parties have expressed concerns with the package as constructed.

Iowa’s smart use of arrow boards featured in new issue of Roadway Safety magazine

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In Iowa, arrow boards—a ubiquitous piece of equipment in many work zones—are serving as a testing ground for data-sharing protocols that transportation officials hope will help reduce crashes and fatalities in work zones by providing road users with real-time information of lane closures.

Read about the evolution of smart arrow boards, gain insights from the team at the Institute for Transportation (InTrans) at Iowa State University and learn the role ATSSA member Jeff Koudelka of Iowa Plains Signing Inc. played in the rollout of the roadway safety devices in the Summer 2021 issue of Roadway Safety magazine, available online today.

Senate sets timeframe for infrastructure package

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) indicated that the Senate should expect to vote on a bipartisan infrastructure package later this month.

The framework of the package was agreed to in late June and has the support of the “G-22,” a group of 11 Democrat and 11 Republican senators. The framework’s initial total cost is $1.2 trillion, with $109 billion going to roads and bridges and $11 billion marked for safety.

Senate Democrats intend on pairing the infrastructure package with a companion $3.5 trillion budget resolution made up of priorities kept out of the bipartisan bill, including action on climate change, increases to childcare and a potential increase on taxes for corporations.

Michigan legislative delegation tours roadway work zone with ATSSA members and staff

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A delegation from the Michigan legislature, in partnership with the Michigan ATSSA Chapter (MI-ATSSA) and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), toured an active work zone this week in Flint, Mich.

The legislators experienced first-hand how intense a roadway construction rebuild site can be for workers and motorists. 

Reps. Tim Sneller and John Cherry, as well as Montel Menifee from the office of Michigan Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, took part in the tour, which focused on safety for both workers and motorists within work zones. 

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