ATSSA presents national awards to roadway safety advocates
On Jan. 28, three national awards were presented during the Opening General Session of the American Traffic Safety Services Association’s (ATSSA’s) 48th Annual Convention & Traffic Expo in San Antonio, Texas.
James (Jim) Crowley, vice president of new product development and marketing for Trinity Highway, received ATSSA’s Industry Achievement Award. This award is intended to recognize members of ATSSA who achieve distinction deemed worthy of special recognition. It is a means of acknowledging members who have attained eminence in the roadway safety industry and/or who have made unusually significant contributions to ATSSA.
As a leader in the roadway safety industry for over 30 years, Crowley has demonstrated a level of commitment that can serve as a model for others. One of his accomplishments include the development of the “Our Best Customer Is an Educated Customer” program. This program complimented roadway safety product development by providing guidance on product features and benefits related to field application targeting for the Federal Highway Administration, state departments of transportation, and consultant engineers. This forward-thinking approach paved the way for programs such as the Safety Needs Analysis Program and the Certified Lifesaver course. For the past 25 years, Crowley also has pledged himself to ATSSA’s cause, advocating for roadway infrastructure safety.
Chris Brookes, work zone delivery engineer of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), received ATSSA’s National Safety Award. For the past 28 years, ATSSA members have honored and recognized public officials with this award, which is presented to those who have made extraordinary and significant contributions to the safety of our nation's highways.
Brookes is known as MDOT’s work zone subject matter expert, spearheading initiatives related to work zones, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), special provisions, Transportation Management Plans (TMPs), and manuals/guide development, all of which advance work zone safety. He spends a significant amount of time training and advocating for work zone safety within MDOT's Transportation Service Centers (TSC) and regional offices, to road/bridge contractors, and within the traffic safety services industry. Annually, Brookes trains over 750 people about work zone safety. Brookes serves on ATSSA's National Temporary Traffic Control (TTC) Committee, the Innovations Council, and is the Michigan-ATSSA Chapter secretary.
The third award winner, Kara Kenney, is an investigative reporter for WRTV, the ABC affiliate in Indianapolis, Indiana that received ATSSA’s National Media Award. This award was developed through ATSSA’s Safety and Public Awareness Committee. It provides state transportation departments the opportunity to publicly recognize and honor a reporter, news organization, blogger, or freelancer who has been fair, balanced, and informative in reporting transportation issues.
In May 2014, near Indianapolis two highway construction employees, Coty Demoss and Kenneth Duerson, Jr., tragically lost their lives in a work zone accident. For more than three years, Kenney has closely followed the story, from the day of the tragic accident to the ultimate criminal prosecution and appeals process of the driver charged in the accident, and the journey of the families impacted by the loss of loved ones. In part because of the increase in public awareness brought about by her reporting, a group of Rieth-Riley construction workers, with the support of the Demoss and Duerson families, was inspired to create Road Construction Awareness Corporation in 2014.