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 reaches out to state DOTs for help regarding resin shortage

ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner today sent a letter to the heads of state Departments of Transportation requesting assistance in light of the current shortage of base resin.

Two major manufacturers of base resin are currently unable to provide the substance used in High Friction Surface Treatment applications due to circumstances beyond their control, Tetschner explains in the letter. He notes that the issue is related to February’s extreme weather events in the Midwest and Texas.

“With US-based materials supply limited, increased costs over the last several months, and a significant delay in shipping overseas materials to the United States, it is likely that some already agreed upon supply contract deadlines will be impacted,” Tetschner states in today’s letter to DOT secretaries across the country.

He explains that manufacturers normally can access the supplies within 10 days from U.S. suppliers or within 30 days from international suppliers but that neither supply line is currently meeting those timeframes. As a result, and without information on when that will change, Tetschner made two requests.

He “strongly urged” them to “to provide flexibility on liquidated damages provisions within your contracts for High Friction Surface Treatment projects due to the lack of availability of domestic base resin and the severe delay in international product which resulted from the current unforeseeable, extreme circumstances.”

He also asked them to “consider price supports on selected projects that have been affected by dramatic volatility in raw materials pricing” and noted that base resin prices more than doubled from Dec. 1 to March 1 and there was no indication that would change.

“While the exact time horizon of these impacts is unknown, the industry is currently hopeful that both the price and supply situation will begin to resolve itself as the year progresses,” Tetschner said. “We do urge you to continue your efforts to effectively utilize HFST as an important safety countermeasure to reduce roadway injuries and fatalities. We do anticipate this shortage to pass, and the industry is committed to meeting the need for improvements to roadway safety.”

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