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.





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ATSSA to address challenges state DOTs face with bid specification enforcement

Bid Specification Enforcement Open Forum will be held at 49th Annual Convention & Traffic Expo

During ATSSA’s 49th Annual Convention & Traffic Expo in Tampa, Florida, Feb. 8-12, the association will hold an open forum on bid specification enforcement.

Bid specifications are written by state departments of transportation (DOTs) for roadway projects outlining the required components of the project, which contractors use to bid on completing the projects.

According to ATSSA Vice President of Member Services Donna Clark, in some instances subcontractors don’t adhere fully to these specifications. This leads to issues with safety and the performance of the roadway safety product as intended.

“Following the completion of any roadway project, inspectors for the state DOT are to inspect the project and ensure that all of the specifications in the bid were followed. Unfortunately, some state DOTs are facing challenges when it comes to enforcing these inspections and specifications, and the goal of this forum is to support them and identify how ATSSA can help them overcome these challenges,” said Clark.

As part of the forum, participants will explore these challenges, whether they be manpower, budgetary constraints, or related issues.

Not enforcing these bid specifications can lead to safety issues for roadway users, and lead to cost overruns on the project for the state DOT, because they may need to redo the project immediately or earlier than anticipated, said ATSSA Senior Technical Advisor Eric Perry.

During the forum, ATSSA will highlight DOTs that enforce bid specifications consistently, and have them share their experiences with inspection and enforcement.

“This will be an ongoing discussion, and we hope either at this forum or at a future event to outline solutions to this issue. It’s all about evening the playing field for all contractors, and ensuring that roadway safety products are being installed correctly, with the ultimate goal of advancing roadway safety,” said Clark.

The forum will take place at the 49th Annual Convention & Traffic Expo Feb. 12 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. For more information on the forum or the 49th Annual Convention & Traffic Expo, visit

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