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

Become familiar with ‘scope of work’ and indemnity in contract agreements

Understanding those terms can limit liability

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Subcontractors may be unaware they can review and negotiate subcontracts before signing them.

Negotiating can be as simple as "red lining" words to delete from the document or adding words or sentences.

Two important items that should be thoroughly reviewed before signing any subcontract agreement are the “scope of work” and “indemnification” clauses. The scope of work should be clearly defined and is usually one of the first paragraphs of the subcontract. 

Indemnity is a contractual obligation of one party to compensate for the loss incurred by another party due to the acts of a third party or one's own actions.

Truck-mounted attenuators: Preferred wheel direction for optimum safety

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At the most recent ATSSA Instructors’ Meeting in Providence, R.I., a question was asked about the proper orientation of the front wheels of a truck-mounted attenuator (TMA), a key issue for roadway safety.

TMAs are trucks equipped with energy-absorbing attenuators, to provide physical protection for roadway workers from traffic approaching from the rear.

A common myth is that the wheels should be angled to prevent the TMA from being pushed into workers in case of an impact. This is not the preferred method and not what ATSSA teaches.

Instead, the preferred method is to point the wheels straight ahead (not turned left or right) and allow for the TMA’s roll-ahead distance.

‘Creating a Safety Culture’ webinar set for Sept. 13

Gain tips for getting everyone on board with workplace safety

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Avoiding workplace injuries isn’t just good for your team, it’s good for the bottom line. But how do you get everyone—at every level—enthused and attentive to the task?

Join ATSSA’s free webinar on “Creating a Safety Culture” on Sept. 13 to gain insights for implementing a culture shift. Speaker Alex Kelly, CEO of SALT and Company, will discuss how to blend industry best practices and behavioral psychology to support behavior change. Prior to starting SALT, Kelly directed Canada’s first Vision Zero Advocate Institute, which is dedicated to supporting municipalities and businesses in the adoption of evidence-based road safety programming.

Registration is now open for this safety culture strategy session.

This is the fourth of five Worker Safety Webinars hosted by ATSSA’s Training Department and the Roadway Worker Protection Council.

Limit your risk in contracts with help from new ATSSA group

Register now for Nov. 8 webinar on ‘Leveling the playing field’

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The overreaching contractual obligation to assume responsibility for another party beyond the extent of your own negligence or willful misconduct is unreasonable and a clear and present danger to the roadway safety infrastructure industry.  

Michael Capell of Brown & Brown recently listened while an ATSSA member shared an experience, recounting the unsettling details of a lawsuit that altogether changed his approach to every project.  For this member, had it not been for a negotiated settlement in exchange for a full release, a jury award would have easily exceeded the company’s available limits of liability insurance and forced a sell-off of corporate assets. The hard-to-swallow reality of the matter was that his involvement was simply a consequence of a far-reaching contractual obligation. 

The business survived, with the experience serving as an endless reminder to never again roll over for blanket contractual risk shifting. This member now fires back, many times successfully negotiating a narrowed responsibility that is fairly and appropriately aligned with his company’s presence on a project, something previously thought unachievable.

These circumstances are all too familiar and place high priority for the continued drive for awareness and education of the issues, contract review protocols and a push for legislative changes.

A new group of ATSSA members and volunteers has formed to assist members and will be presenting a webinar on Nov. 8 and a panel at the 2023 Convention & Traffic Expo in Phoenix.

Midyear Meeting starts Tuesday in Rhode Island

General session will address ongoing supply chain challenges

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ATSSA’s Midyear Meeting kicks off on Tuesday, launching the annual collaboration of industry insiders gathered to address the latest innovations and challenges in the roadway safety infrastructure industry.

This year’s event takes place in Providence, R.I., where Wednesday’s agenda includes a panel discussion on workforce, materials and supply chain issues.

“Construction and transportation industry challenges – potholes on the industry highway” will be moderated by ATSSA Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith. Panelists include Kate Fox Wood, senior director of government relations with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Jonathan Starks of FTR, who is a longtime member of the freight industry, and Sterling Wiggins with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The 1-hour session starts at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and will focus on the state of affairs across the construction and transportation industries and what the path forward may look like.

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