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 & 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.

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 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.

Lieutenant governors association recognizes National Work Zone Awareness Week with resolution

National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 11-15

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This morning, the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) recognized the importance of roadway worker protection by unanimously approving a policy resolution recognizing National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW). 

While gathered at a conference in Washington, D.C., the NLGA’s Resolutions Committee approved the measure unanimously on Wednesday. The full NLGA voted its support today.

Delaware Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long made remarks prior to the approval, noting how critical it is to raise awareness of workers in active work zones and how important it is to do everything possible to provide for safety while making infrastructure improvements.

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