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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.”

Registration open for ATSSA’s in-person Legislative Briefing & Fly-In

Event returns to Capitol Hill to fuel the future of roadway safety

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ATSSA’s annual Legislative Briefing & Fly-In returns to the nation’s capital June 13-14, providing the roadway safety infrastructure industry direct access to federal policymakers.

ATSSA’s Government Relations Team is organizing two jam-packed days to get the most of this time in Washington, D.C., through this conference that is a free event exclusively for ATSSA members.

“We urge all of our members to come to D.C. to learn the skills for advocating to policymakers and then put those skills to use in sessions with legislators and their staffs from their respective states,” said ATSSA Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith. “The skills learned during the Legislative Briefing can be used immediately on Capitol Hill and then again when our members return home with their state’s legislators.”

Registration is now open for the two-day conference that is a free, exclusive benefit of ATSSA membership.

ATSSA mourns the passing of roadway safety champion Norm Mineta

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Former Secretary of Transportation and roadway safety leader Norm Y. Mineta passed away on May 3, 2022, at the age of 90.

ATSSA President and CEO Stacy Tetschner issued the following statement:  The country has lost a leader and staunch supporter of roadway safety. Mineta was the U.S.’s longest serving Secretary of Transportation and launched the Decade of Action for Road Safety in Washington, D.C. during his tenure. He was a vocal supporter of National Work Zone Awareness Week and as a champion of the transportation industry. Perhaps most significantly, Secretary Mineta worked with ATSSA in establishing the nation’s first dedicated federal program for roadway safety infrastructure, the Highway Safety Improvement Program. Tens of thousands of people are alive today directly because of Secretary Mineta’s passion for roadway safety. His legacy will live on in the work that our members do every day in making roads safer.

Roadway Safety Spring Issue and Convention Extra now online

Explore Ohio’s smart mobility corridor and relive highlights of the 2022 Convention in Tampa

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The Spring Issue of Roadway Safety magazine is online now and explores Ohio’s Smart Mobility Corridor along Interstate 33 between Dublin and East Liberty.

This 35-mile stretch of roadway in Northeast Ohio is a living laboratory where multiple organizations are testing automated and connected vehicle technology including ways to protect pedestrians. The project is a partnership between private industry and government entities as well as residents in those communities and has been dubbed “the world’s most connected highway.”

Convention Extra is also online and provides a commemorative of the 2022 Convention & Traffic Expo in Tampa, Fla., and an opportunity to see what you missed if you didn't attend this reunion of the roadway safety industry.

Four members elected to ATSSA’s Board of Directors

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Four new people have been elected to ATSSA’s Board of Directors for terms that run through 2024. Two others were reelected for a second term.

Michael Hare of QWICK KURB was voted chair-elect. Cindy Williams of Time Striping Inc. was voted to the board as an at-large member.

Robert Voccia of Cosco Inc. was elected as guardrail services director.

Former ATSS Foundation Chair David Krahulec of Horizon Signal Technologies was elected as manufacturers and suppliers director.

ATSSA urges DOTs to support a standardized form for QPL and APL

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner reached out to the leaders of departments of transportation (DOTs) in all 50 states asking for their support for a standardized form for the Qualified Products List (QPL) and the Approved Products List (APL).

In a letter, Tetschner explains that a standardized form would help roadway safety products get to market faster by streamlining the current burdensome process of making a different application for every DOT across the country.

"If you are not aware, each DOT manages its QPL/APL submittals, reviews and approvals differently and this means each company wishing to see a product added to the list must go through the process 50 times, frequently in different ways with different forms, resulting in a very time-consuming, labor-intensive process,” Tetschner states in the letter. “This burdensome process delays getting new and improved products onto the roadways where they could save lives.”

The letter is signed by the president of each of ATSSA’s Chapters, which represent 1,500 member companies from across the country as well as many public agencies.

ATSSA & TRB announce 2023 Traffic Control Device Student Challenge

Challenge offers opportunity for students to innovate for the future of roadway safety

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Fredericksburg, Va. (April 18, 2022) – The American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) and Transportation Research Board (TRB) Standing Committee on Traffic Control Devices invite students to compete in the 2023 Traffic Control Device (TCD) Student Challenge.

The TCD Student Challenge promotes innovation and stimulates ideas in the traffic control devices industry with a goal to improve operations and safety and encourage future generations of roadway safety professionals. As part of the challenge, individuals or student teams submit solutions in the subject area of transportation and roadway safety based on the chosen topic for the year.

This year’s topic is “Innovative Traffic Control Devices to Improve Vulnerable Road User Safety.”

ATSSA president contacts DOT leaders amid soaring fuel costs and record inflation

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner contacted the leaders of every state’s department of transportation (DOT) requesting contract price adjustments for ATSSA members in light of the rapid increase in fuel costs, significant inflation and the volatility of the situation.

“We strongly encourage you to consider immediate action to help remediate the effects of the recent and rapid increase in fuel costs across the country, most specifically as it affects the roadway industry, where roadway projects that were bid months ago are now being awarded and businesses are experiencing losses due to inflationary operational costs,” Tetschner wrote in the April 8 letter.

Tetschner notes that inflation “is at a four-decade high and gas prices continue to increase,” having increased 45% over this time one year ago.

Work zone victim’s daughter urges motorists to drive responsibly

VDOT hosts National Work Zone Awareness Week official kickoff in Hampton, Va.

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Cameron Hutt talked about her father during the National Work Zone Awareness Week national kickoff event this afternoon but much of what she shared she learned secondhand.

Cameron’s father, Chris Hutt, was killed in a work zone incident when she was in kindergarten.

Before his death at age 33, he taught her how to swim, how to tie her shoelaces and her right from her left.

He was a loving father and a good provider but he didn’t get to see the birth of his youngest child or watch the other two grow up because of what Cameron called “the carelessness of two people.”

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.

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