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.


TRIP report: California drivers losing $61 billion annually on roads
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TRIP report: California drivers losing $61 billion annually on roads

California drivers are losing $61 billion annually on the state’s roadways, according to a recent report from TRIP, a national transportation research group.

The report, titled “California Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility”, looked at pavement conditions, congestion levels, highway safety data, and cost breakdowns for several areas in California.

Findings from the report show that roads and bridges across California are deteriorated, congested, and lacking in important safety features, leading to that $61 billion figure – costing as much as $2,995 per driver in certain urban areas. That total factors in higher vehicle operating costs (VOC), traffic crashes, and congestion-related delays.

More than two-thirds of locally and state maintained roads are in poor and mediocre condition, according to the TRIP report. It is also placing the safety of California drivers at risk.

According to the report, traffic crashes in the state have cost the lives of 15,730 people in the last five years. “Traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor imposed $9.8 billion in economic costs on California drivers in 2016,” stated a TRIP release.

As a way to counteract the infrastructure maintenance challenges for California roadways, the state legislature passed Senate Bill 1 (SB1), the “Road Repair and Accountability Act”, which would use an increased gasoline and diesel tax, as well as a transportation investment fee and fee on zero emission vehicles to generate $5 billion in new revenue annually, to help pay for maintenance of the state’s roads, bridges, and related infrastructure.

This bill was met with opposition and a state ballot initiative – Proposition 6 – has been set for November to repeal the measure. ATSSA’s government relations team and members of the CAL-ATSSA chapter have mobilized grassroots efforts to combat this repeal, to ensure that California has the funding it needs to repair roadways and roadway infrastructure, which will ultimately save lives.

“The ATSSA state government relations program provides its members an opportunity to engage with state lawmakers on issues that matter to them. CAL-ATSSA’s engagement on SB1 over the past year is a perfect example of how the program can provide a platform for an ATSSA chapter to make their voice heard and participate in the law making process,” said ATSSA Director of State Government Relations Ashley Wieland.

If successful, the effort will also benefit ATSSA member companies by ensuring additional roadway safety infrastructure funding on California roadways.

“Driving on deficient California roads comes with a $61 billion yearly price tag for the state’s motorists. Adequate funding for the state’s transportation system would allow for smoother roads, more efficient mobility, enhanced safety, and economic growth opportunities while saving California’s drivers time and money,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director, in a release.

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