Association Spotlight – ATSSA Advances Roadway Safety

Collaboration is key to protecting lives on the nation’s roadways

The American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) began more than a half-century ago with a simple mission – to advance roadway safety.

And while the mission is unchanged, the Association’s work is evolving rapidly to keep pace with ongoing advances within the roadway safety infrastructure industry. ATSSA’s staff and members are part of deliberations as federal guidelines are reviewed and are actively evaluating and employing the latest technology and innovations while keeping a laser focus on finding the best ways to prevent injuries and deaths on the nation’s roadways.

From the high-tech world of connected and automated vehicles to the fine details of pavement markings to the precise regulations for traffic control, ATSSA members are immersed in the conversations and helping chart the course.

“Saving lives is a 24-7 job that ATSSA and its members take seriously,” said President & CEO Stacy Tetschner. “We are continually working with industry experts and state and federal agencies to find the best ways to protect drivers, their passengers and the men and women employed in work zones. We are deeply invested in the tools and technology and the people they’re meant to protect.”

That is why ATSSA holds its Annual Convention & Traffic Expo, and why its 16 councils and committees work throughout the year. The committees focus on topics such as guardrails, innovations, high friction surface treatment, traffic signals and temporary traffic control.

The councils now include the Roadway Worker Protection Council, which is working to be more proactive on two fronts: preventing roadway worker injuries and preparing resources to assist members if tragedy occurs.

ATSSA is also a key player in National Work Zone Awareness Week, an annual event held to raise awareness about the importance of work zone safety. In 2019, 135 roadway workers were killed in 762 fatal work zone crashes, according to the latest statistics from the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse. Those crashes took the lives of 842 people, meaning most fatalities occur to drivers and pedestrians.

Throughout its history, ATSSA training has set the standard for the roadway safety arena. It addresses federal guidelines while also providing individualized courses to meet the distinct requirements of every state in the nation. Its emphasis on continually looking for the best ways to meet industry needs meant ATSSA was well-positioned when the pandemic hit the nation, enabling ATSSA to shift training to alternative delivery formats so members—who were considered essential—could continue operating.

ATSSA also employs a Government Relations Team devoted to legislative advocacy on both the state and federal levels. The team makes direct contact with legislators and helps equip ATSSA members with grassroots advocacy skills through an annual Legislative Briefing & Fly-In. At both levels, the focus is on furthering roadway safety and advancing the national strategy “Toward Zero Deaths” on the nation’s roadways.

The American Traffic Safety Services (ATSS) Foundation is the charitable arm of ATSSA and promotes roadway safety through charitable giving and public awareness programs. Two key efforts are the National Work Zone Memorial and Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarships.

The National Work Zone Memorial, unveiled in 2002, honors the lives lost in work zones. The traveling memorial is available for hosting at events. The Foundation also has a virtual memorial. Information on hosting the memorial and submitting a name for inclusion on the memorial is available online. Also, Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarships were established to help dependents of roadway workers killed or permanently disabled in roadway work zones continue to pursue their dreams.

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