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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.

Explore the action and insights from ATSSA’s Midyear Meeting

Check out photos plus video highlights of general session

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ATSSA’s Midyear Meeting provided bountiful opportunities to reconnect, explore solutions to roadway safety infrastructure challenges, socialize over pickleball and hear from automotive industry experts.

If you missed it or want to revisit the experience, we’ve posted dozens of photos and you can watch highlights of the general session featuring Tony Reinhart, Ford Motor Company’s director of Government Relations, and Brad Stertz, director of Audi Government Affairs and co-founder and chairman of Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE).

ATSSA’s next big event is the 52nd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo in Tampa, Fla., Feb. 11-15.

ATSSA surveys reveal impact of raw materials supply issues on members

Association advocates on behalf of members amid supply challenges

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Nearly 90% of ATSSA manufacturers and suppliers reported experiencing a shortage of raw materials needed to produce roadway safety products, according to an ATSSA survey this summer.

That percentage increased from 75% when those same members were surveyed in March, according to data assembled by ATSSA.

ATSSA surveyed its members after hearing that limited supplies of materials were impacting the work of the roadway safety infrastructure industry. Multiple factors were leading to the supply challenges: extreme weather in February in the Midwest and Texas, the effects of COVID-19 in the U.S. and delays in the supply line due to international shipping.

ATSSA leads effort in filing legal brief supporting reversal of FCC safety spectrum decision

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ATSSA filed a friend of the court brief in support of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN), which are appealing an order by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reallocate a portion of the 5.9 GHz spectrum band to unlicensed uses including WiFi.

The FCC voted unanimously on Nov. 18, 2020 to reallocate more than half of the safety band. The new rules adopted by the FCC make the lower 45 megahertz (MHz) of the spectrum available for unlicensed uses and require Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) licensees to stop using that portion of the spectrum within a year.

The FCC’s action came despite warnings from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), U.S. Department of the Treasury and multiple transportation-safety-focused organizations including ATSSA.

Midyear Meeting general session explores connected technology with Audi and Ford executives

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Executives with Ford and Audi emphasized the importance of collaboration among key stakeholders as connected and autonomous vehicle technology advances.

Tony Reinhart, director of Government Relations for Ford Motor Company, and Brad Stertz, director of Audi Government Affairs and co-founder and chairman of Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE), spoke at this morning’s general session at ATSSA’s Midyear Meeting, which runs through Friday.

After opening remarks, Reinhart and Stertz were joined by ATSSA Board Chair Greg Driskell and ATSSA Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith for a panel that took questions from the group assembled in Kansas City, Mo., for the Midyear Meeting.

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.

ATSSA’s 2021 Midyear Meeting gets underway in Missouri

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ATSSA’s 2021 Midyear Meeting kicks off this afternoon in Kansas City, Mo.

More than 300 people have registered for the event that runs through Friday and is being held in hybrid fashion with some attending in person at the Loews Kansas City Hotel and others taking part online.

The week includes the first meeting of the Roadway Worker Protection Council, which takes place Wednesday and evolved from a Roadway Worker Protection Summit held during this year’s Convention and Traffic Expo.

Senate passes bipartisan infrastructure package

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The Senate today passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The $1.2 trillion plan includes the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act (STRA) that passed through the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee earlier this year.

“ATSSA applauds the passage of this historic investment in roads, bridges and safety,” ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner said. “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will allow ATSSA members to undertake even more lifesaving work on America’s roadways. We are encouraged by the work done in a bipartisan manner in the Senate and strongly urge the House to follow their lead in implementing a robust, long-term and safety-focused infrastructure plan.”

The House will need to also pass the infrastructure plan for it to go into effect. However, members on both sides of the aisle have expressed a weariness toward the Senate version. It is unclear what the plan forward is on the legislation.

Enterprise Holdings Foundation donates $3,500 to The ATSS Foundation

Funds will support the Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarship program

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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (Aug. 9, 2021) – The American Traffic Safety Services Foundation is pleased to announce donations totaling $3,500 from Enterprise Holdings Foundation, which will be used to support the Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarship program.

The ATSS Foundation received $2,000 in June from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation at the request of Massana Construction Inc. of Tyrone, Ga., in memory of Michael Keyser Sr. and his son, Nathaniel Keyser, employees who were killed as a result of a work zone incident on Aug. 8, 2017, in Forney, Texas.

The ATSS Foundation received $1,500 in July from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation at the request of D2K Traffic Safety Inc. of Naperville, Ill.

New federal rule for entry-level CDL training goes into effect in February

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New federal requirements for entry-level driver training for the commercial driver license (CDL) go into effect on Feb. 7.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations for entry-level driver training (ELDT) for CDL licenses were mandated under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21 Century Act (MAP-21).

ELDT regulations establish the baseline for training required for entry-level drivers. They apply to anyone:

  • seeking a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time
  • upgrading an existing Class B CDL to Class A CDL
  • obtaining a first-time school bus (S), passenger (P) or hazardous materials (H) endorsement.
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