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ATSSA asks DOTs for support during tightening of raw materials market

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner sent a letter today to directors of state departments of transportation (DOTs) on behalf of the roadway safety infrastructure industry as it struggles with a tightening of the raw materials market.

“Currently, the availability of several key raw materials has tightened in the market from several factors including reduced production from COVID‐19 plant shutdowns and the extreme weather events in the Midwest/Texas in February,” Tetscher says in the letter. “This tightening of raw materials is impacting metals and petroleum‐based products used in the roadway safety industry, including aluminum, steel, plastic, and pavement marking and high friction surface treatment resins.”

He notes that the shrinking supply of these materials has a direct effect on the roadway safety infrastructure industry.

ATSSA partners with Certified Safe Driver Inc. to offer driver education courses

ATSSA members receive a discounted rate with a registration promo code

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ATSSA has partnered with Certified Safe Driver Inc. (CSD Inc.) to bring driver education courses and services to its members at a discount.

Members can choose from more than a dozen courses and services including Defensive Driving for Class A, B and C; Licensing School for Class A, B and C; Truck Driver School for the CDL Class, A, B and C; License Upgrade CDL School and One-to-One Behind the Wheel Evaluation.

“We are always looking for ways to enhance our training offerings and meet the needs of our members,” ATSSA Training Director Rameeza Shaikh said. “This partnership with Certified Safe Driver Inc. provides an excellent way to provide driver education courses to our members at a great rate. Well-trained drivers help keep the roadways safe.”

ATSSA issues recommendations for a Vulnerable Road Users Program

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ATSSA recently released its recommendations for “Developing an Effective Vulnerable Road User (VRU) Program” to address rising pedestrian fatalities as well as the safety of people not in vehicles but who utilize the roadways.

“This includes bicyclists and others who might not only walk, but roll, and are at a distinct and dangerous disadvantage when crossing a road or being in a road with vehicles and trucks,” ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner said in a letter to the heads of state departments of transportation (DOTs) across the country.

The document includes 19 recommendations assembled by ATSSA’s Traffic Signals Committee that Tetschner said ATSSA believes “will help put VRUs on a more equal footing with vehicle‐based travel, not only in terms of safety, but as a means of effective and efficient travel mode.”

Biden proposes $2 trillion infrastructure plan

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President Joe Biden today released a proposal to spend $2 trillion on infrastructure projects over an 8-year period. Dubbed the American Jobs Plan, the broadly defined infrastructure concept is separated into four components: Transportation infrastructure and roadway safety, “How We Live” infrastructure, “Care” infrastructure, and Innovation infrastructure.

"ATSSA applauds President Biden, Secretary [Pete] Buttigieg and the administration on ensuring that roadway safety is front and center in the American Jobs Plan,” ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner said. “Between increasing funding for roadway safety projects, a focus on pedestrian and bicyclist safety, encouraging and funding vision zero programs, and noting the emotional toll that roadway fatalities and serious injuries have on American families, this proposal will put us on a path of reducing fatalities toward zero in the decades to come. ATSSA looks forward to working with the Biden administration and Congress to make zero fatalities a reality through investments in roadway safety infrastructure.”

ATSSA thanks FHWA for extending feedback time for proposed MUTCD changes

Association joins other industry leaders in opposing rewrite of MUTCD

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner sent a letter thanking Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Acting Administrator Stephanie Pollack for extending the comment period for the Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) on the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

He noted the decade-old MUTCD needs an update, expressed ATSSA’s backing of the process and rejected the recent call by some to rewrite the MUTCD.

“ATSSA supports the ongoing process and we are confident that USDOT will obtain great feedback on how to improve this important manual,” Tetschner wrote. “We understand that some want to start over with the manual and we do not support this idea. We do, however, support a reexamination of the structure, process and content of the MUTCD at a later date. We also want to make it clear that this reexamination should not delay a new edition that our industry desperately needs.”

ATSSA reaches out to state DOTs for help regarding resin shortage

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner today sent a letter to the heads of state Departments of Transportation requesting assistance in light of the current shortage of base resin.

Two major manufacturers of base resin are currently unable to provide the substance used in High Friction Surface Treatment applications due to circumstances beyond their control, Tetschner explains in the letter. He notes that the issue is related to February’s extreme weather events in the Midwest and Texas.

“With US-based materials supply limited, increased costs over the last several months, and a significant delay in shipping overseas materials to the United States, it is likely that some already agreed upon supply contract deadlines will be impacted,” Tetschner states in today’s letter to DOT secretaries across the country.

Wanted: Students with creative minds to tackle a traffic safety challenge

Traffic Control Device Student Challenge returns after pandemic pause

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ATSSA and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Standing Committee on Traffic Control Devices invite students to compete in the 2022 Traffic Control Device (TCD) Student Challenge.

The contest returns after a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students are challenged to come up with “Innovative Traffic Control Device Strategies for Speed Management on Limited Access Freeways.”

The TCD Student Challenge promotes innovation and stimulates ideas in the traffic control devices industry with a goal to improve operations and safety and encourage future generations of roadway safety professionals. As part of the challenge, individuals or student teams submit solutions in the subject area of transportation and roadway safety based on the topic for the year.

FHWA schedules three webinars for proposed MUTCD updates

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has scheduled three webinars through April 1 on topics related to the proposed updates to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD).

The webinars take place at 2 p.m. EDT and are scheduled as follows: March 18, Introduction and Overview; March 25,  Pedestrians, Bicycles and Transit; and April 1, Urban Traffic Control.

The MUTCD has not undergone a comprehensive update in more than a decade. FHWA is currently accepting comments.

Register now for ATSSA’s 2021 Legislative Briefing & Virtual Fly-In

Connect with Capitol Hill policymakers from a socially distant virtual platform

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Take part in ATSSA’s 2021 Legislative Briefing & Virtual Fly-In from the comfort and safety of home. The April 21-22 event is free for members and will be completely online making access to Capitol Hill policymakers convenient and effective.

Last year’s virtual event proved popular with ATSSA members and provided a great way to interact with legislators without the need for travel. Participants drove their message to Capitol Hill and enjoyed direct interactions with members of Congress and congressional staff involved in funding and policy decisions.

ATSSA’s Legislative Briefing & Fly-In equips members to present key roadway safety infrastructure industry issues directly to political leaders and this year’s issues are key for the industry. The FAST Act, or Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, was a hot topic last year as ATSSA members advocated successfully for a one-year extension but a new deadline is looming.

Three companies provide significant help to ATSS Foundation

Generosity helps nonprofit address challenges due to COVID restrictions

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Generous support from PPG/Ennis-Flint, 3M and Ver-Mac made a significant difference for The ATSS Foundation as it started 2021.

The Foundation was forced to cancel its two biggest fundraisers of the year due to COVID-19 restrictions so the assistance from the companies during ATSSA’s recent Convention & Traffic Expo makes a big impact, said Foundation Director Lori Diaz.

Traditionally, The Foundation holds its golf and sporting clays events in conjunction with the Convention but the Convention was forced to move to an online platform as a result of the pandemic, which also meant the two popular events weren’t held.

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