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.



Convention educational offerings advance roadway safety

Experiences, ideas and data shared to spur safety solutions

With nearly 50 options to choose from, ATSSA’s 2023 Convention & Traffic Expo offers tremendous opportunities to learn from roadway safety industry experts through formal education sessions, 30-minute “micro sessions” or traffic talks led by ATSSA staff.

Topics span nine categories: business, guardrail, signs, safety and public awareness, roadway worker protection, traffic signals, temporary traffic control, connected and automated vehicles (CAV) and innovation, and pavement markings and high friction surface treatment (HFST).

“We recognize the importance of pulling together subject matter experts to advance roadway safety and our Annual Convention & Traffic Expo is the perfect place to showcase the skills, insights and innovations our members and others have to address issues facing the industry,” said ATSSA Vice President of Education & Technical Services Donna Clark. “These sessions are designed to spur conversations, share ideas and lead to solutions for real-world problems.”

ATSSA’s 53rd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo takes place at the Phoenix Convention Center, Feb. 17-21. Educational offerings run from Feb. 19-21.

Keynote speaker Scott Wozniak, an expert on organizational leadership, addresses attendees on Feb. 19 on the topic: “Great Brands Have Great Employees – The Engine Behind Legendary Companies.”  Wozniak will explain how to build an “employee engagement engine,” including providing five systems to attract and empower great people. The next morning, he will expand on his presentation during an education session in the business track entitled, “Tactics and Tools for Your Employee Engagement Engine.” That session will be interactive and dive deeper into the tactics and tools used by legendary brands to engage their employees.

Roadway Worker Protection topics include: “Safety Culture: One Employee at a Time!,” “How Smart Roadway Workers Use Situational Awareness to Improve Safety,” and “Can We Talk? Communications, Coordination and Cooperation for Increased Safety.” The Roadway Worker Protection Council meets on Feb. 20 from 2-5:30 p.m.

A group of volunteers is working to help members navigate the challenges of contract negotiation.  A four-member panel from this group will lead, “Contract Review 101” on Feb. 19 with the aim of educating and empowering ATSSA members.

Among the other education session topics are one on modernizing teen driver instruction regarding work zone safety, a look at “next generation work zones for highly automated vehicles,” an update on the rewrite of the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) and department of transportation (DOT) implementation schedules, “Lessons Learned in Using Work Zone Photo Speed Enforcement (PSE),” a session on “How Do I Reduce Crashes and Fatalities in Work Zones?” and a roundtable discussion about the road ahead for pavement marking contractors.

A Legislative Insights Forum featuring former Rep. Bill Shuster takes place Feb. 20. Shuster represented Pennsylvania’s 9th Congressional District for more than 17 years and served as chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He currently serves as a senior policy advisor at Squire Patton Boggs, providing strategic advice and consulting on issues including transportation, infrastructure and local governments.

The 53rd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo begins with two ATSS Foundation fundraisers on Feb. 17. The Sporting Clays Event will be held at Ben Avery Clay Target Center in Phoenix. The Foundation Golf Classic takes place nearby at Wigwam Golf Club in Litchfield Park, Ariz.

Among the other Foundation activities is a “Meet & Greet” on the Expo floor Feb. 19, 3-4 p.m., where attendees can chat with college students who are recipients of the Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarship.

3M is once again sponsoring a pledge wall to benefit The Foundation and will match the first $5,000 in donations. The fundraiser runs from Jan. 1 through the end of Convention. Donations can be made during registration for the Convention & Traffic Expo, by texting TZD to 41444 or online.

New this year is Student Day on Monday, Feb. 20. Students in seventh grade through the university level can attend the Convention & Traffic Expo for free that day along with a chaperone to learn about the industry and its many career opportunities. (Register with promo code 2023AZStudent by Jan. 30.) The Arizona ATSSA Chapter (AZ-ATSSA) is sponsoring lunch and a welcome presentation (11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) immediately after which students can take a guided tour of the Traffic Expo floor to learn about roadway safety and see the latest industry innovations. They are then free to explore the floor on their own.

Registration is now open for the 2023 Convention & Traffic Expo: Where roadway safety and innovation intersect. It is expected to bring together 3,500 members of the roadway safety industry and provide endless opportunities for learning, collaborating and networking while advancing roadway safety.

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