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Roadway Safety magazine delves into the labor shortage

Fall issue also includes a supplement devoted to training

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ATSSA members have been hit hard by this year’s labor shortage with one declaring, it’s “killing us.”

Read the Fall 2021 issue of Roadway Safety magazine to learn how your colleagues are coping and how ATSSA responded with a new tool to attract students and recent graduates to the field of roadway safety.

The magazine also includes an emotional piece about three people who became roadway safety advocates as a result of personal loss. You can also get a detailed update on colorized bike lanes at multiple jurisdictions, research results on studies of presence lighting and digital speed signs, and some early information about ATSSA's Annual Convention & Traffic Expo coming up in Febuary. 

Plus, check out our Training Spotlight, which includes a two-page, full-color chart detailing state-by-state requirements. 

ATSSA joins 100-plus groups urging House members to support infrastructure bill

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ATSSA was among 110 groups today sending a letter to all members of the House of Representatives, encouraging them to vote for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which passed the Senate in bipartisan action.

The IIJA “represents a historic opportunity to provide substantial economic and quality of life enhancements to communities across the country and to build for the future,” the letter states. “The investments made in the package would facilitate long overdue repairs and improvements to our roads, bridges, rail, and public transportation, and other critical infrastructure, such as airports, ports, broadband, energy, and water systems.”

The infrastructure bill includes a 5-year reauthorization of federal highway, public transportation and passenger rail programs, which the groups note would “ensure states and localities have much-needed funding and policy certainty to proceed with planned projects.”

Those projects are currently operating under a funding extension set to expire Sept. 30.

Preliminary estimates for first half of 2021 show motor vehicle deaths up again this year

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Preliminary estimates for motor vehicle fatalities for the first six months of 2021 are up 16% over the same period in 2020, the National Safety Council (NSC) reported this morning.

The estimate for the first six months of 2021 is also 17% higher than the 2019 figures, according to NSC, which tracks that and other data on injuries.

The group noted that mileage for the first half of 2021 was up 13% over the low point in 2020 due to COVID-19. However, this year’s mileage was still almost 6% below travel mileage in 2019.

Roadway Worker Protection Council holds its first meeting

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Ideas flowed today as ATSSA’s Roadway Worker Protection Council held its first meeting during the Midyear Meeting in Kansas City, Mo.

Nearly 30 people took part where it was agreed the two primary focus areas are mitigating risk in work zones and creating a support plan to be ready when incidents occur.

Doug Dolinar, who lost an employee to a work zone incident last August, was appointed as council chair  and ATSS Foundation Board Chair Dave Krahulec was appointed as vice chair for today’s meeting. An election of officers will take place when the council meets during the 52nd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo in Tampa, Fla., in February.

The plan is to hold the Roadway Worker Protection Council meeting the morning of Monday, Feb. 14 to avoid conflicts with other council and committee meetings at Convention. The Convention & Traffic Expo will be held Feb. 11-15.

Iowa’s smart use of arrow boards featured in new issue of Roadway Safety magazine

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In Iowa, arrow boards—a ubiquitous piece of equipment in many work zones—are serving as a testing ground for data-sharing protocols that transportation officials hope will help reduce crashes and fatalities in work zones by providing road users with real-time information of lane closures.

Read about the evolution of smart arrow boards, gain insights from the team at the Institute for Transportation (InTrans) at Iowa State University and learn the role ATSSA member Jeff Koudelka of Iowa Plains Signing Inc. played in the rollout of the roadway safety devices in the Summer 2021 issue of Roadway Safety magazine, available online today.

Survey of highway contractors shows six in 10 reported a crash into their work zone

AGC-HCSS Software Solutions survey includes assessment of dangers

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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 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.

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and HCSS Software Solutions surveyed highway contractors on their experiences with respect to work zone safety in 2020. Their 2021 Work Zone Awareness Survey Results, which included responses from 292 firms, found that 60% of contractors reported at least one motor vehicle crash in their work zone.

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.

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.

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).”

AASHTO hosting webinars on results of study on converting MASH to performance-based spec

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The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is hosting two June webinars to review the results of a study commissioned to explore the possibility of converting the Manual on Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) 2016 to a performance-based specification.

AASHTO hired the Texas A&M Transportation Institute to do a scoping study to assess the effort, timeline and needs required if the change was undertaken. Results of the study will be presented at two webinars, which will include time for questions. Registration is now open.

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