ATSSA Blog

ATSSA endorses rural road safety legislation introduced in the House

Pam 0 1147 Article rating: 5.0

Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) introduced H.R. 2481, the High Risk Rural Roads Safety Grant Program Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bipartisan proposal, which is strongly supported by ATSSA, would direct federal roadway safety infrastructure funds to locally owned rural roads.

The fatality rate on rural roads is two times greater than on non-rural roads, according to U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) statistics. Additionally, local governments generally do not have the resources needed to make critical, lifesaving roadway safety infrastructure investments.

H.R. 2481 would create a $600 million competitive grant program that local governments could apply for, with the federal grant being funded at 100%. A specific $100 million set-aside is also included for tribal road safety.

In addition to ATSSA, the American Highway Users Alliance, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), National Association of Counties (NACo), National Association of County Engineers (NACE) and the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) endorsed the legislation.

Keynote speaker: Don’t rob others by refusing to change

Chad Hymas urges ATSSA members to embrace change and innovation to save lives

Pam 0 870 Article rating: No rating

For the first five years after he became a quadriplegic in a farming accident, Chad Hymas refused to pursue his love of scouting for elk.

Finally, after his father invited him again, said it wasn’t about him and said he would take his two sons himself, Hymas answered the challenge.

That was a turning point for Hymas and one he keeps constantly before him by posting a photo of his son from that day. 

Hymas, who was injured near his home in Utah on April 3, 2001, was the keynote speaker for ATSSA’s 51st Annual Convention & Traffic Expo. He took part in the Convention’s second general session today, which also included a Government Relations Panel featuring Sen. Shelly Moore Capito, (R-W.Va.), American Highway Users Alliance President & CEO Laura Perrotta  and ATSSA Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith discussing their outlook on transportation funding. ATSS Foundation Board Chair Dave Krahulec provided an update on Foundation efforts and fundraising events.

Legislation introduced to find alternative Highway Trust Fund revenues

Pam 0 705 Article rating: No rating

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03) has introduced H.R.383, the Road User Charge Advancement Act of 2021, legislation that would build on the Surface Transportation Systems Funding Alternatives (STSFA) program included in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The bill was originally introduced during the last Congress and included in the Moving Forward Act. If it secures passage this Congress, it would nearly double current funding to $35 million annually for STSFA.

The STSFA program incentivizes states to find alternative funding solutions for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), as a reliance on revenues from the current gas tax becomes a less feasible method of keeping the HTF solvent. The federal gas tax has lost nearly 71% of its purchasing power since its most recent rate increase in 1993 due to inflation and the increase in fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel vehicles.  Failure to develop new sources of revenue could see the HTF experience a $190 billion shortfall in the next decade.

Congressional leaders find deal on COVID-19 relief and federal spending bills

Pam 0 1504 Article rating: 5.0

Leaders of the House and Senate agreed this afternoon to terms on a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package and a $1.4 trillion federal spending package, ending lengthy negotiations that had lasted for months. Included in the COVID relief legislation was $45 billion for transit, with $10 billion allocated to state departments of transportation for highways.

ATSSA has supported the inclusion of funds for state DOTs throughout the year and made it the main legislative priority in any discussions centered around COVID-19 relief. In addition to making it a main talking point at the ATSSA Virtual Fly-In & Legislative Briefing in September, ATSSA also signed on to multiple letters alongside fellow stakeholders to push for Congress to include these funds.

ATSSA announces strategic reorganization

Realignments and promotions allow ATSSA to better serve membership

Pam 0 1681 Article rating: 5.0

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (Dec. 7, 2020) – ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner announced a realignment of two of the Association’s vice presidents to better serve its members and most effectively address the multitude of vital issues facing the roadway safety infrastructure industry.

“This decision was made to address the many issues we face as an industry devoted to working toward zero deaths. I wanted to best utilize the talented people we have on our team,” Tetschner said.

Nate Smith’s role will expand to include Member Engagement as he continues leading ATSSA’s Government Relations strategy. Donna Clark becomes Vice President of Education and Technical Services.

123