Innovation

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

NPRO

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.



Resources

National Work Zone Awareness Week still on for April 20-24
Pam
/ Categories: NWZAW, Tech and Innovation

National Work Zone Awareness Week still on for April 20-24

Michigan DOT cancels kickoff event due to COVID-19 concerns

National Work Zone Awareness Week will continue as scheduled on April 20-24. However, Michigan officials canceled the April 21 kickoff event in accord with CDC guidelines regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Sunday, the CDC recommended groups not hold gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks.

Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) officials discussed the issue with ATSSA today. It was agreed that MDOT will instead host next year’s event. Virginia DOT had been scheduled to host in 2021 but will now host in 2022.

National Work Zone Awareness Week highlights the importance of safe driving through work zones because of the risks of injury or death. The event started in Virginia in 1997 and became a national event three years later after ATSSA teamed with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AAHSTO) to increase its exposure.

The week starts on April 20 with Work Zone Safety Training Day, which emphasizes the importance of laying the groundwork for safety through training of personnel. Companies are encouraged to pause during the workday for safety demonstrations, discussions about safety policies and other prevention steps.

April 22 is Go Orange Day during which all roadway safety professionals are encouraged to wear orange to show their support for work zone safety. Watch for our Twitter feed and the hashtag #Orange4Safety.

MDOT had planned a large-scale event, which was scheduled to include Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other public officials at the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti Township.

This year’s theme is “Safe Work Zones for All: Protect workers. Protect road users.” It features a poster reminiscent of the World War II poster with Rosie the Riveter. In her place are a male and female roadway worker proclaiming the message of the original poster: “We Can Do It!”

Michigan chose that image as a reflection of its industrial heritage. The original “Rosies” worked as riveters in an aircraft factory that built B24 bombers. Today that factory is the American Center for Mobility, an outdoor track on a 500-acre property where Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) are tested and where the kickoff event will be held.

MDOT has a partnership with ACM and felt it would be the perfect location for the NWZAW kickoff as it is representative of the future of our roadways, according to MDOT Work Zone Tech Specialist Chuck Bergmann.

It was unclear where the event will be held next year.

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