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


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.






ATSS Foundation recognizes Shirley family for longtime support

ATSS Foundation Vice Chair Peter Johnston, left, presented the Foundation Ambassador Award to Ryan Shirley, center, on behalf of his family during The Foundation’s Annual Golf Classic Tournament on Feb. 17 in Phoenix. Georgia ATSSA Chapter President Rick Brockman nominated the Shirley family for the recognition.

The ATSS Foundation recently recognized the Shirley family of Georgia with the nonprofit’s Ambassador Award.

The Foundation Ambassador Award recognizes an individual or entity for extraordinary efforts in supporting The Foundation’s core purpose of promoting roadway safety through charitable giving and public awareness programs.

The Shirley family, which owns and operates Safety Signal Co. in Georgia, has for 13 years run the Jim Shirley Memorial Golf Tournament and donated half of the proceeds to benefit The ATSS Foundation. The other half has gone to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) for scholarships.

Safety Signal Co. was founded in Forest Park, Ga., in 1969 by Jim Shirley and Dave Bussey, who were brothers-in-law. The family has continued operating the business since then, with Jim’s widow—Dee Shirley—as the current owner. The company is now located in Union City, Ga.

Georgia ATSSA Chapter President Rick Brockman nominated the family for the Foundation Ambassador Award in recognition of their years-long efforts in helping both The Foundation and GDOT, both of which offer college scholarships.

“The Shirley family has started, managed, promoted and worked on the annual Jim Shirley Memorial Golf Tournament with this being the 13th  year,” Brockman wrote in nominating the family. “They literally shut down their company for the day to make this event successful.”

The ATSS Foundation Board approved the award in November and presented it to Ryan Shirley at The Foundation’s Annual Golf Classic Tournament held as part of ATSSA’s 53rd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo in Phoenix in February.

“We are extremely grateful to all of the members of the Shirley family for their many years of support,” said Foundation Director Lori Diaz. “Their commitment to The Foundation through this event that honors Jim Shirley has made a difference in the lives of young adults pursuing their dreams after a devastating loss and in helping raise awareness of the importance of roadway safety.”

The ATSS Foundation Board reviews nominations for the Ambassador Award three times a year—in March, July and November. Details on the criteria and a nomination form are available online.

 To date, four awards have been presented.

The ATSS Foundation is the charitable arm of ATSSA.

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