Innovation

Roadway Safety Innovation

Innovation in the roadway safety industry

Outsiders of the transportation infrastructure industry may look to autonomous vehicles as an icon of innovation on the roadways, but for state Department of Transportation (DOT) officials, manufacturers, suppliers, and contractors in the roadway safety and infrastructure industry, innovation is not a stationary achievement. It is much more than a mile marker and not as easily defined.

With different perspectives and priorities, industry stakeholders are finding that in addition to new technologies, innovation is heavily reliant on communication between entities. Industry leaders are working together to move forward and ATSSA is no different. The association works year-round to progress and develop creative solutions for all of its initiatives including highlighting innovative products and technologies, training, and ATSSA membership.


One innovative effort ATSSA is involved in is a joint initiative with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Standing Committee on Traffic Control Devices (AHB50). Both ATSSA and TRB sponsor and conduct an exciting design competition, the Traffic Control Device (TCD) Student Challenge, to promote innovation and stimulate ideas in the traffic control devices area with a goal to improve operations and safety.


Find recent updates on the latest innovations in the resource list below and be sure to check back for updates.



Exhibit at ATSSA's Annual Traffic Expo

NPRO

Do you have an innovative roadway safety product? Exhibitors can showcase their innovations in the New Products Rollout at the Annual Convention & Traffic Expo. Products released after Jan. 1 of this year qualify for entry. Twenty will be accepted for the New Product Listing and just 12 will be accepted for presentation to a panel of judges. The top three products will earn an Innovation Award that will be announced during the Convention.


Learn more
about featuring your innovative product to key industry professionals. View videos of last year's entries and award winners.



Resources

ATSSA Board Member Cindy Williams testifies before Congress

Williams participates in hearing to address the rise in roadway fatalities

Today, Cindy Williams, president of Time Striping, president of the Arkansas ATSSA Chapter, and a member of the ATSSA Board of Directors, testified before the Highways and Transit Subcommittee in the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill.

The hearing, entitled “Addressing the Roadway Safety Crisis: Building Safer Roads for All,” focused on the recently released 2021 traffic fatality statistics, and countermeasures that can combat that increase.

“The Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) is a critical component to achieving the goal of Towards Zero Deaths,” Williams said in her testimony. “Having a dedicated funding stream for roadway safety has been critical to addressing safety needs and continuing this program was a bipartisan priority for Congress and ATSSA.”

Discussion during the hearing also focused on rural road safety, something Williams said she understands well from her experience in Arkansas.

“As we look to improve roadway safety, we need to remember the rural areas of the country,” she said. “According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 19% of Americans live in rural areas, yet 43% of all roadway fatalities occur on rural roads.”

She noted that countermeasures such as cable barrier and high friction surface treatments (HFSTs) are successful in dramatically reducing roadway fatalities.

In his opening remarks, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said work zone safety needs to be an area of focus, and Williams agreed.

With more and more projects getting started as a result of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), work zone safety will be even more important in the months and years ahead.

Williams discussed how connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology plays a role in safety and noted that it relies on ATSSA member devices such as pavement markings, traffic signs and signals, and smart work zones, among others.

In calling congressional attention to the pitfalls looming in the roadway safety marketplace, Williams informed the subcommittee about the significant impact inflation, material shortages and workforce shortages are playing and how those pressures will negatively impact roadway safety and the number of safety projects being finished.

Williams also implored Congress to not suspend the federal user fees that pay for transportation projects.

She noted that gas and diesel prices are hurting ATSSA member companies but also noted that it would be counterproductive to suspend the very user fee that pays for federal safety projects.

Williams closed her remarks by noting that the roadway safety infrastructure industry is committed to doing its part to help the nation reverse the trend of rising traffic fatalities.

“ATSSA members are ready to do what we do best--roll up our sleeves and get to work,” she said.

A recording of today's hearing is available for viewing. Williams' full testimony is here.

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