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.





Maria Robertson

USDOT releases grant notification for $5 billion Safe Streets for All Program

Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) released its Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the newly created Safe Streets and Roads for All Program, a $5 billion grant program focused on local vision zero projects which was created in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The grant is funded at $1 billion annually through Fiscal Year 2026.

The grant program is focused on assisting local and regional governments in achieving their vision zero goals and strategies. Eligible grant recipients include cities, towns and townships, counties, metropolitan planning organizations, some transit authorities, tribes and groupings of these units of governments (for example, multiple cities can join together for a project). State governments are ineligible to receive this grant.

Local governments must have a comprehensive safety action plan in order to receive funding for projects. However, funding is available from the grant for the creation of the action plans if one does not currently exist. For all grant awards, there is an 80%/20% federal/local match required for funding of the projects. Additionally, no more than 15% of the annual grant funding can go to jurisdictions in one particular state.

Once an action plan is created and fits the requirements of the grant, implementation grants can be awarded. According to USDOT, some examples of eligible projects include:

  • Rumble strips
  • Wider edge lines
  • High friction surface treatments
  • Sign installation
  • Pedestrian crosswalk improvements
  • Signal improvements
  • Bicycle lanes
  • Safe routes to school projects
  • Traffic calming countermeasures
  • Vulnerable road user protection projects
  • Advanced transportation technologies
  • Enhanced delineation
  • Roadside safety improvements
  • Intersection safety

ATSSA strongly encourages ATSSA members to work with their local and municipal government partners to educate and encourage applications for this roadway safety grant.


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