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.





SuperUser Account

FMCSA rep visits ATSSA HQ to talk initiatives

National organization works to increase safety for CMVs and buses

Last month, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Virginia Division Administrator Craig Feister spoke at ATSSA headquarters in Fredericksburg, Virginia about the main objectives of the administration and the agency’s areas of focus.

“Since beginning this outreach to our members, we have learned a great amount of valuable information and held important discussions about how we work together to advance roadway safety,” said ATSSA Vice President of Member Services Donna Clark. “Our members are a priority, so we work hard to educate others about the dedicated work they do each day to help save lives on our nation’s roadways.”

According to Feister, the FMCSA works closely with trucking companies, and are starting to work more with organizations and associations like ATSSA.

The FMCSA was created by an act of Congress in 2000 as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), out of concern for an increase in apathy for Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) and bus safety.

“Our mission is roadway infrastructure—trucks and buses do impact the safety on U.S. roadways but for transportation agencies, no matter where you work, safety is the top priority for the department,” Feister said. “If you're not going to comply with safety regulations and get drivers who are qualified, take care of your equipment, have good safety management practices, then most likely, you're not going to be around that long. It's interesting how it shifted from more economical regulations to safety regulations.”

The FMCSA has several functions. They have a grant program, which funds state agencies and organizations that have a focus on CMV and bus safety. Additionally, the agency has a primary grant that funds the CMV and bus safety inspection program in each state, funding that goes to universities to conduct research, and funding that goes to other safety organizations or nonprofits.

Feister said there are about half a million motor carriers on the roads, adding that about 70 to 75 percent of goods are being delivered by CMVs and that percentage could increase over the next 15 or 20 years.

“Unfortunately, if you look at statistics from recent years, we have more work to do,” Feister said. “We've had an increase nationally of fatal crashes of about 15 percent. At this point, we're revisiting our programs, and we're trying to figure out what we can do better to help drive these crashes down because that's what it's all about.”

To learn more about ATSSA membership, visit or email ATSSA Director of Member Engagement Rita Rose at

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