Erica Terrini

ATSSA 2019 Midyear Meeting draws hundreds to advance roadway safety infrastructure

Committee and council members convene, association meets with ASC and forms Traffic Signals Committee

More than 300 ATSSA members convened in San Diego, California for the association’s 2019 Midyear Meeting, where they participated in committee and council meetings, established a Traffic Signals Committee, met with the Automotive Safety Council (ASC), and raised funds for legislative advocacy efforts and the ATSS Foundation.

Association members shared their technical and practical knowledge around issues within the roadway safety infrastructure industry including the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH), the 2020 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), and Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) technology as they relate to traffic control devices. The event's General Session featured Deputy Director of Maintenance and Operations for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).Steve Takigawa and the American Association of State Highway Traffic Official (AASHTO) Program Director for Engineering Jim McDonnell.

“This year’s meeting was a great success, as our committees, councils, and subgroups had the opportunity to hold important discussions about the leading issues and advancements within the roadway safety and infrastructure industry,” said ATSSA Vice President of Member Services Donna Clark. “The conversations and actions taken during all of our events are key to helping us reach our Toward Zero Deaths goal, when we will eliminate roadway fatalities and injuries on U.S. Roadways. Midyear was another step in the right direction.”

According to Clark, the formation of the Traffic Signals Committee will be extremely beneficial for ATSSA, as these types of products will be involved in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), CAVs, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, and other sectors within the roadway safety industry.

Another event that was focused on CAV technology was the ASC-ATSSA Joint Working Group meeting, which allowed industry members the opportunity to communicate with automakers and explore ways their products can better support automated vehicles.

“ATSSA has been regularly meeting with automakers who are represented on the council,” said ATSSA Director of New Programs Brian Watson. “At Midyear, we discussed recommendations that we will be proposing for the updated MUTCD, which allows us to contribute to national standards that we feel should reflect the emergence of CAVs. We also heard from wonderful speakers, who discussed the role of digital infrastructure and mapping technologies and other innovations that will increase connectivity on our roadways.”

In terms of advocacy, the ATSSA Government Relations team held a PAC reception to help raise awareness about the Association’s legislative initiatives on the Hill.

“Our government relations staff was happy to talk to members about the importance of connecting with their elected officials at the local, stated, and federal levels,” said Director of Government Relations David Bell. “Advocating for roadway safety infrastructure is an important initiative for our Association. We’re fortunate to have members who understand that.”

The Midyear Meeting closed with a special event to support the ATSS Foundation. The second annual Twisted Bowling Tournament Fundraiser, which was named for its "twisted" scoring system, was co-hosted by ATSSA and the California ATSSA Chapter, and the net proceeds benefitted the Foundation.

“The tournament was a great success and showed ATSSA members truly are in support of The Foundation’s many programs, which help the loved ones of fallen or injured workers through many means,” said ATSS Foundation Manager Lori Diaz. “We look forward to hosting it again next year at Midyear 2020.”

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