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.



ATSSA joins 100-plus groups urging House members to support infrastructure bill

ATSSA was among 110 groups today sending a letter to all members of the House of Representatives, encouraging them to vote for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which passed the Senate in bipartisan action.

The IIJA “represents a historic opportunity to provide substantial economic and quality of life enhancements to communities across the country and to build for the future,” the letter states. “The investments made in the package would facilitate long overdue repairs and improvements to our roads, bridges, rail, and public transportation, and other critical infrastructure, such as airports, ports, broadband, energy, and water systems.”

The infrastructure bill includes a 5-year reauthorization of federal highway, public transportation and passenger rail programs, which the groups note would “ensure states and localities have much-needed funding and policy certainty to proceed with planned projects.”

Those projects are currently operating under a funding extension set to expire Sept. 30. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has indicated that a vote on this legislation could occur as early as Monday.

ATSSA noted in an separate document to House members that the bipartisan infrastructure package approved by the Senate includes “historic investments” in roadway safety infrastructure. ATSSA highlighted the following items viewed as “crucial” to move the country Toward Zero Deaths on U.S. roadways.

•            $16.8 billion for the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP)

HSIP is the core federal aid highway program for roadway safety infrastructure. This program funds the installation, implementation, and upkeep of lifesaving safety infrastructure countermeasures, including highway-rail crossing countermeasures. This represents a $4 billion increase over current investments.

•            $300 million for increased rural road safety

Rural roads in America have a fatality rate two times that of non-rural roads, and the IIJA includes a dedicated rural road safety infrastructure component to make rural America safer.

•            $120 million for increased tribal road safety

Motor vehicle traffic crash death rates are 2-6 times higher among American Indian and Alaska native children aged 0-12 than other races and ethnicities. For those aged 20 and older, the death rate is more than twice that of non-Hispanic white adults. The IIJA doubles the current investments in tribal road safety.

•            $5 billion for Safe Streets for All

As American’s shift how they move and commute throughout the country, it is vital to protect the most vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. Safe Streets for All represents a strong commitment to reducing roadway fatalities toward zero.

“ATSSA strongly urges members of Congress to vote for this historic, bipartisan infrastructure package,” ATSSA Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith said. “In addition to the significant economic benefit that this legislation will have, the IIJA will invest more than $22 billion in roadway safety infrastructure projects around the country. This represents an increase in safety investments of nearly $10 billion.

"ATSSA members have been calling on Congress and past administrations to take a stronger leadership position on roadway safety and the IIJA answers that call. We look forward to working together to move Toward Zero Deaths on U.S. roadways.”

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