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Final rule for pavement marking retroreflectivity published

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) posted the final rule regarding pavement marking retroreflectivity in today’s Federal Register.

The posting states: “The purpose of this final rule is to update the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) to provide standards, guidance, options, and supporting information relating to maintaining minimum levels of retroreflectivity for pavement markings. The MUTCD is incorporated in FHWA regulations and recognized as the national standard for traffic control devices used on all streets, highways, bikeways, and private roads open to public travel.”

The rule notes that it is effective on Sept. 6.

ATSSA strongly opposes President Biden’s gas tax suspension proposal

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ATSSA President and CEO, Stacy Tetschner released the following statement today that strongly opposes President Joe Biden’s proposal for suspending federal and state gas taxes.

"Although we certainly support efforts to reduce the price per gallon of gasoline and diesel, suspending federal fuel taxes would set a dangerous precedent, financially undermine the recently-enacted bipartisan infrastructure law, impact state and local governments’ certainty of federal roadway safety funding, and imperil the ability to enact future multi-year transportation authorizations. It’s extremely unlikely that the suspension of federal fuel taxes will result in the American consumer actually seeing a commensurate reduction in the price they pay at the pump when filling up their vehicle.

Traffic fatalities rose an estimated 10.5% in 2021, reach 16-year high, NHTSA reports

Trend in fatality rate for vehicle miles traveled decreased for three quarters of 2021

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Traffic fatalities across the U.S. rose 10.5% in 2021 to a projected 42,915 deaths, reaching a 16-year high, according to statistics released today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

That projected increase from 38,824 fatalities in 2020 is “the highest number of fatalities since 2005 and the largest annual percentage increase in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System’s history,” NHTSA announced today.

ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner expressed concern over the record-breaking fatality rate.

“ATSSA’s members have devoted their lives to roadway safety and providing the infrastructure and technology needed to save the lives of the motoring public as well as men and women working on our roadways,” Tetschner said. “This unprecedented increase in traffic fatalities brings home the importance of our work and the necessity of government and private industry partnering to provide safe thoroughfares. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which was enacted into law in November, provides historic levels of federal funding for roadway safety infrastructure projects. Departments of transportation around the country, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, must prioritize getting these funds to critical, lifesaving safety projects as soon as possible. We know that safer roads save lives. ATSSA members are ready to go to work with their agency partners to move toward zero deaths on all roads.”

AASHTO and FHWA release answers to help implement MASH

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The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on Monday announced the release of  responses to three questions regarding testing of roadway safety hardware under the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH), 2016.

The guidance is available online and includes all new and prior questions and answers dating to May 2018.

A joint AASHTO/FHWA technical working group developed the latest responses, which are created to help manufacturers, crash test laboratories and transportation agencies apply the guidelines to roadway safety devices.

FHWA hosts Nov. 22 webinar updating its Proven Safety Countermeasures

Register now for the free event highlighting two new pedestrian safety countermeasures

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The Federal Highway Administration is hosting a Nov. 22 webinar providing its “Proven Safety Countermeasures 2021 Update,” which will highlight two innovations that are part of the Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) program.

Register now for this free event in which the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon and Crosswalk Visibility Enhancements will be highlighted. Nine new countermeasures will be introduced during the webinar along with a briefing on new features in the program’s website and implementation resources.

VTTI seeks participants for survey on how connected and automated vehicles will interact with work zones

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Luke Neurauter, senior research associate in the Division of Vehicle, Driver and Safety Systems at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), is asking ATSSA members and others in the roadway safety industry to take part in a survey on the impact of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) on work zones.

The purpose is to “better understand how CAV technologies will behave when they encounter typical work zone scenarios and what can be done (from the perspectives of both the CAVs and work zone operations) to ensure ultimate compatibility between all available technologies,” according to information from VTTI Senior Research Associate Tammy Trimble.

The research is sponsored by the Transportation Research Board (TRB).

ATSSA develops new work zone safety publications under FHWA's Work Zone Safety Grant Program

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ATSSA recently developed three work zone safety publications under the Work Zone Safety Grant Program, which were approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The documents include one with a Spanish version and address pedestrian safety and accommodation as well as portable temporary rumble strips application (PTRS) in work zones. 

These new resources are now available:  “Updated Pedestrians Checklist and Considerations for Temporary Traffic Control Zones,” Everyone is a Pedestrian: For a Safe Path Through Work Zones – Don’t Miss Your Cues” and State Examples for the Application of Portable Temporary Rumble Strips (PTRS).”

ATSSA submits 120 comments for feedback to proposed MUTCD

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ATSSA today submitted 120 comments to the Federal Register on the Proposed Rule for the National Standards for the Traffic Control Devices: Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) for Streets and Highways revision. 

The 23 pages of comments were compiled over the past few months and are the product of input received from ATSSA’s technical committees, MUTCD Chat Lounges during February’s Annual Convention & Traffic Expo, National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Device (NCUTCD) committee meetings and other conferences attended by ATSSA. The input was produced after sorting through nearly 2,000 comments to the 700-page MUTCD. 

“A huge thank you goes out to our members for leading the charge as this was a herculean effort,” ATSSA Director of Innovation & Technical Services Eric Perry said.

FHWA’s Pollack expresses support for roadway safety at ATSSA Legislative Briefing & Fly-In

ATSSA members gathering online this week for annual advocacy event

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Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Acting Administrator Stephanie Pollack joined ATSSA members today for day one of the Association’s two-day Legislative Briefing & Fly-In being held online this week.

Pollack stressed the importance of roadway safety and referenced next week’s National Work Zone Awareness Week as she engaged in a conversation with ATSSA Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith and responded to member questions.

More than 100 ATSSA members registered for the Legislative Briefing & Fly-In, which is organized by ATSSA’s Government Relations Team and is a member benefit. Members are scheduled to take part in more than 60 meetings with members of Congress and legislative staffers on Thursday.

FHWA adds Thursday webinar on MUTCD Notice of Proposed Amendments

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has scheduled an additional webinar on the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD) Notice of Proposed Amendments (NPA) for Thursday.

This final webinar starts at 2 p.m. EDT. Registration is now open for the session, which will provide an overview of the MUTCD process and highlights of some proposed changes. FHWA indicated local jurisdictions will be especially interested in this webinar. 

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