Road Sign

Signs are important fixtures that help advance roadway safety every day throughout the United States. Today, a variety of symbols, shapes and colors are used to convey messages to users on and around the roadways. Signs types include traffic, roadway, warning, railroad, guide, recreational, temporary, regulatory, pedestrian and bicycle.

There are many benefits to using symbols, which include immediate communication with all roadway users and their ability to break language barriers. Colors can communicate approaching scenarios such as using orange to indicate an upcoming work zone or red for an upcoming stop or yielding point. A number of shapes are also used to indicate oncoming situations or to provide roadway users with information such as octagons for stop and long horizontal, rectangular signs displaying guidance information.

Today, traffic signs are being looped into the world of autonomous driving technology. Research efforts are being made to equip traffic signs with technology, like embedded machine-readable codes, to allow them to communicate with Connected Automated Vehicles (CAVs) and other mapping devices.

ATSSA has dedicated group of members on its Sign Committee (member login required), who work to:

  • Enhance members’ businesses by increasing their understanding of traffic control devices on private property,
  • Influence the present and future direction of Minimum Retroreflectivity Standards,
  • Inform and educate roadway safety industry members on sign industry-related matters,
  • Provide knowledge and education about signing retroreflectivity,
  • Work to have dedicated funds identified and available for sign management systems and the implementation of upgraded programs to conform with MRS,
  • Monitor and influence the development of a new MUTCD chapter on changeable message signs, and
  • Improve upon and solicit greater committee member participation in Sign Committee meetings and on task forces, including recruitment of new committee members.


ATSSA Training offers new sign retroreflectivity courses
Erica Terrini
/ Categories: ATSSA, Retroreflectivity, Signs

ATSSA Training offers new sign retroreflectivity courses

ATSSA has been providing roadway safety training for nearly 50 years, and we are not stopping there. This year, ATSSA will roll out new courses on sign retroreflectivity to further serve individuals in the roadway safety infrastructure industry. These online training courses will add to ATSSA’s wide range of existing course modules, which include flagger training, guardrail and barrier installation and maintenance, high friction surface treatment, roadway paving and maintenance, pedestrian safety, and temporary traffic control.

The association recognizes that retroreflectivity is an element in a number of traffic control safety devices including marking tapes, traffic signs, barricades, delineators, and other work zone safety products. Retroreflectivity greatly increases visibility of devices on our nation’s roadways, helping to keep road users safe.

“This year, we were happy to announce our new sign retroreflectivity courses are available for those seeking inspection certifications to ensure devices meet the visibility requirements laid out in the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD),” ATSSA Director of Training Jessica Scheyder said. “By offering these new training modules, we can help individuals who are seeking to round out their skillset to accomplish that goal.”

Scheyder said ATSSA and organizations such as the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have initiatives to promote the importance of retroreflectivity on roadways. The standards and use for retroreflective devices are spelled out in the MUTCD for maintenance, along with its impact on improving nighttime visibility. A great number of ATSSA companies are working to innovate with their retroreflective products—increasing visibility and safety for all.

Additionally, Scheyder said ATSSA offers the only training designed to meet the retroreflectivity inspection standard set forth in MUTCD Section 2A.08, and the courses are available online for traffic sign inspectors. The inspectors must complete a minimum of three out of six modules, which can be finished in less than two hours.

ATSSA Senior Technical Advisor Eric Perry said when it comes to visibility on our nation’s roadways, retroreflectivity is a major contributing factor to increasing roadway safety.
“There are a lot of factors to consider such as color and sheeting type when maintaining reflective traffic devices and it is very important to know the national standards when conducting maintenance or installation of those products—getting it wrong could cost a life,” Perry said.

ATSSA Vice President of Member Services Donna Clark said by providing the new sign retroreflectivity courses, the association hopes to not only provide skills to individuals working on our nation’s roadways, but also to save lives.

“Having signs and devices that meet the retroreflectivity standards is so important,” Clark said. “Being able to properly see roadway and traffic control devices is crucial to keeping the motoring and non-motoring public safe—especially at night, and in and around work zones. We look forward to providing this training to industry members, who in turn will be better equipped to increase visibility and save lives.”

For more details about ATSSA training and the new sign retroreflectivity courses, call 800-272-8772 or visit

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