Innovation

Roadway Safety Innovation

Innovation in the roadway safety industry

Outsiders of the transportation infrastructure industry may look to autonomous vehicles as an icon of innovation on the roadways, but for state Department of Transportation (DOT) officials, manufacturers, suppliers, and contractors in the roadway safety and infrastructure industry, innovation is not a stationary achievement. It is much more than a mile marker and not as easily defined.

With different perspectives and priorities, industry stakeholders are finding that in addition to new technologies, innovation is heavily reliant on communication between entities. Industry leaders are working together to move forward and ATSSA is no different. The association works year-round to progress and develop creative solutions for all of its initiatives including highlighting innovative products and technologies, training, and ATSSA membership.


One innovative effort ATSSA is involved in is a joint initiative with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Standing Committee on Traffic Control Devices (AHB50). Both ATSSA and TRB sponsor and conduct an exciting design competition, the Traffic Control Device (TCD) Student Challenge, to promote innovation and stimulate ideas in the traffic control devices area with a goal to improve operations and safety.


Find recent updates on the latest innovations in the resource list below and be sure to check back for updates.



Exhibit at ATSSA's Annual Traffic Expo

NPRO

Do you have an innovative roadway safety product? Exhibitors can showcase their innovations in the New Products Rollout at the Annual Convention & Traffic Expo. Products released after Jan. 1 of this year qualify for entry. Twenty will be accepted for the New Product Listing and just 12 will be accepted for presentation to a panel of judges. The top three products will earn an Innovation Award that will be announced during the Convention.


Learn more
about featuring your innovative product to key industry professionals. View videos of last year's entries and award winners.



Resources

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.

Virginia’s governor urges drivers to slow ‘at the first sign of a work zone’

National Work Zone Awareness Week starts today

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Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin is urging all drivers to slow down and be alert when they see “the first sign of a work zone.”

His statement came today as National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) kicks off across the country. This weeklong national commemoration has been held each year since 2000 at the start of the spring roadway construction season to raise awareness for all motorists.

Statistics show that motorists and their passengers make up the majority of deaths due to work zone crashes. In 2020, the most recent year for which national data is available, 857 people were killed in work zone incidents, according to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse. Of the 156 pedestrians killed in work zones in 2020, 51 were work zone personnel.

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.

‘Effective Incident Response’ webinar set for March 22

Registration is open for ATSSA’s second Worker Safety Webinar

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Prepare for effective incident response by attending the free March 22 Worker Safety Webinar hosted by the ATSSA Training Department and its Roadway Worker Protection Council.

This is the second in a series of five webinars, all of which are free and focus on learning ways to protect roadway workers.

“The goal of these webinars is to help our members protect their employees and to help prepare them in case a work zone incident occurs,” said ATSSA Vice President of Education and Technical Services Donna Clark. “Obviously, we never want any roadway worker to get injured but we’ve learned it’s better to be prepared and not need the skills than to be unprepared if the worst happens.”

ATSSA State Chapters Oppose Gas Tax Suspension Measures

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Three ATSSA chapters sent letters today opposing measures that would suspend state gas taxes during the ongoing crisis.

In Michigan, Pennsylvania and California, governors and state legislators have proposed temporarily halting their state’s gas tax in an attempt to provide relief to consumers at the pump. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that consumers will see a discernible decrease in the price of fuel should these measures become law. Instead, much-needed roadway safety improvement projects would be put at risk. ATSSA remains concerned with any federal or state legislation that would threaten critical infrastructure funding.

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