ATSSA Blog

Roadway fatalities and work zone incidents in 2020 spell concern for roadway safety advocates

NHTSA projects 7.2% increase in motor vehicle traffic fatalities in 2020

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Two reports this month offer stark reminders of the risks of highway work zones and the importance of roadway safety.

Today we look at the latest data from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which released its early estimate of motor vehicle traffic fatalities for 2020.

Tomorrow, we will look at results of a survey of highway workers regarding work zone incidents and the issues contractors identified as key to improving safety for employees in work zones.

Midyear Meeting adds Roadway Worker Protection session to agenda

New topic results from Roadway Worker Protection Summit during ATSSA’s 2021 Convention

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This year’s Midyear Meeting adds a new council focused on roadway worker protection to the lineup.

The addition evolved from the Roadway Worker Protection Summit, which was heavily attended during ATSSA’s 2021 Annual Convention & Traffic Expo held online in February, said ATSSA Vice President of Education and Technical Services Donna Clark.

She said the topic resonates with everyone in the roadway safety industry and, unfortunately, the statistics on injuries and deaths aren’t improving.

Congressional Road Safety Caucus puts spotlight on safety

Transportation and safety proposals this year offer optimism for roadway safety advocates

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One of the ways members of Congress shine a light on a specific issue is through the formation of congressional caucuses. Reps. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) and Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) have done exactly that in creating the bipartisan Congressional Road Safety Caucus this year.

One of the first steps came on April 14, when Reps. Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.) and Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) introduced the High Risk Rural Roads Safety Grant Program Act in the House. The Act would create a new competitive grant program for local jurisdictions and tribal nations to focus federal funding on rural and tribal road safety projects.

Funded at $600 million annually, this proposal would give a needed boost to targeting safety challenges on these rural and tribal roadways.

Other roadway safety proposals are also being considered on Capitol Hill.

House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee passes surface transportation authorization proposal

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Early this morning, the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee passed a five-year, $548 billion surface transportation authorization proposal out of committee, mostly on a party-line vote.

Two Republican members of the committee, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (R-Puerto Rico), crossed over and voted with the Democrats. The legislation, named the INVEST in America Act, passed out of the committee after a marathon session that began Wednesday morning and finished around 5 a.m. today. Both Democrats and Republicans offered hundreds of amendments during the process.

This proposal includes funding titles for highways – including roadway safety infrastructure, bridges, transit and passenger and freight rail. By and large, the legislation and the process were derided as partisan by Republican committee members.

Host the National Work Zone Memorial at your next event

Save lives by making roadway safety personal through the virtual or in-person memorial

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The National Work Zone Memorial makes roadway safety personal by inscribing the names of people killed in work zone incidents. Each person left behind loved ones and co-workers who grieve the loss.

Members can help raise awareness of the toll of work zone incidents by hosting the tribute formally known as “The National Work Zone Memorial - Respect and Remembrance: Reflections of Life on the Road.”

The Foundation encourages ATSSA members, ATSSA chapters, state departments of transportation (DOTs) and industry leaders to host the Memorial at events. It is now available in two formats – a traveling Memorial and a virtual Memorial.

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