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ATSSA’s 2022 Convention & Traffic Expo reunited thousands of roadway safety advocates

ATSSA travels to Phoenix for the 2023 event set for Feb. 17-21

ATSSA’s 2022 Convention & Traffic Expo brought together more than 3,200 roadway safety advocates over five days in Tampa, Fla.

They collaborated, networked, learned about the latest innovations and even cheered on their favorite team at the Chairman’s Big Game Watch Party on Sunday evening.

Some, like the folks with Shur-Tite, utilized the football theme for their Traffic Expo booth, donning matching red jerseys in the spirit of Sunday night’s Super Bowl.

The official kickoff for the Convention & Traffic Expo on Sunday included singing of the national anthem by local celebrity Sonya Bryson-Kirksey, who sings the Star Spangled Banner for the two-time Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning. Bryson-Kirksey is a Tampa resident and a retired Air Force technical sergeant.

They then heard from ATSSA Board Chair Greg Driskell, who surprised ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner with the Chairman’s Award, thanking him for his support and leadership over the past two years. Three national awards were also announced on Monday and Tuesday - the National Safety Award, National Media Award and the Mark of Excellence Award.

Keynote speaker Scott Moore kept the packed crowd in the Ballroom of the Tampa Convention Center spellbound as he shared leadership and teamwork tips gleaned from his decades leading the elite Navy SEALs on “no fail” missions.

Afterward, the Traffic Expo officially opened where attendees could walk aisle after aisle examining everything from hand-held safety gadgets to specially equipped trucks for installing pavement markings to the latest innovations to protect roadway workers.

The theme for the 52nd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo was reuniting for roadway safety and that proved apt as men and women from across the U.S., Canada and other nations gathered for the first in-person Convention since 2020.

This year’s event included a second general session on Monday, which included a recorded message from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“Organizations like yours have argued for years that the only acceptable number of deaths on our roads is zero,” Buttigieg said. “The U.S. Dept. of Transportation now officially agrees. As a matter of national policy, our goal is zero deaths.”

“I understand the scale of the challenge and the ambition represented by that goal, and I understand that we may not get there during my tenure as secretary,” he added.” But the decision to commit to that goal changes the way cities and towns design roads, the way companies build cars, and the way people drive them. To deliver on our shared goal, we will need to continue working together and I look forward to doing just that.”

This year’s Convention & Traffic Expo took place in the Tampa (Fla.) Convention Center, Feb. 11-15, bringing the roadway safety infrastructure industry face-to-face after a year in a virtual format. This year’s attendees included people from across North America and beyond. Among them were at least 159 department of transportation (DOT) officials from 40 states.

The five-day event started with two ATSS Foundation fundraisers: the 30th Annual Golf Classic Tournament and the 9th Annual Sporting Clays event.

Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarship recipient Emily Hause of Eaton Rapids, Mich., and her mother, Heather Hause, attended the golf event. Emily’s father, Todd Hause, was killed in work zone incident in May 2019.

Scholarship recipient Daniel Hart of Ridge, N.Y., attended the sporting clays with his father, Tom Hart, who was permanently disabled in a work zone incident in March 2019.

The Convention & Traffic Expo culminated with the Circle of Innovation and the awarding of Innovation Awards for three new products.

“While the Annual Convention & Traffic Expo is always an ATSSA highlight, this year was particularly valuable being the first time our industry has met in person in two years,” said ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner.  “The energy and excitement from our attendees, combined with content and equipment, provided an incredible forum for connecting and learning. “

Participants left with timely tips for building teamwork in their companies, plus insights for solving work zone safety issues and innovative ideas for moving forward amid changes to the communications spectrum and advances in connected and automated vehicle technology.

The 2023 Convention & Traffic Expo takes place in Phoenix, Feb. 17-21 at the Phoenix Convention Center with the theme of “where roadway safety and innovation intersect.”

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