ATSSA Blog

Worker Safety Webinar Series launches with discussion of roadway industry

Roadway worker protection focus spurs idea for Worker Safety Webinar series

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ATSSA kicked off its Worker Safety Webinar Series today with a session by Alex Kelly, founder and CEO of SALT + Company.

Calling her presentation “Road Safety 101,” Kelly discussed big picture issues related to the transportation industry and encouraged company owners to veer outside their lane—though not literally—to explore alternate avenues for partnerships.

Today’s session was the first of five Worker Safety Webinars and sponsored by the ATSSA Training Department and the new Roadway Safety Protection Council. The next four webinars will take place in 2022.

ATSSA President releases statement regarding the House’s failure to pass infrastructure bill

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner released a statement today regarding the failure of the House of Representatives to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

“The failure of the House of Representatives to do their jobs and pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is disappointing and dangerous. Unfortunately, having to release a statement like this is becoming the norm instead of the exception,” he said.

“Congress, specifically the House progressives and House Republican leadership, have decided to use this important historical investment in our nation’s roads, bridges and safety as political leverage. They are playing politics with every road user’s life, instead of protecting them. I would hope that they use the month of November to come to their senses and pass this bipartisan legislation and do the job they were voted into office to carry out.”

Congress nears passage of bipartisan infrastructure package, extends current authorization

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With the current surface transportation authorization set to expire over the weekend, Congress passed a short-term extension of the FAST Act, the current authorization, that will run until Dec. 3.

Earlier this afternoon the House appeared close to voting on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, but Democrats were unable to come to an agreement on a vote for a separate $1.75 trillion reconciliation package, the framework of which was released today.

AASHTO council unanimously supports resolution to convert MASH into a performance spec

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AASHTO’s Council on Highways and Streets voted Wednesday to support a resolution to convert the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) to a specification.

The vote took place during the Council’s meeting as part of AASHTO’s annual meeting in San Diego.

AASHTO maintains MASH and commissioned the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) to conduct a scoping study on the idea of converting MASH 2016 to a specification. The study was completed this year, according to a presentation by Maine Department of Transportation Chief Engineer Joyce Taylor, who serves as vice chair of AASHTO’s Committee on Design. The association also held two webinars in June with state and industry officials to address opportunities and challenges the conversion would bring.

The move to convert MASH into a performance specification is aimed at “developing a more consistent testing of roadside hardware,” according to the Council on Highways and Streets resolution.

Sorting fact from fiction with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

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Thursday is poised to be a pivotal day for the roadway safety infrastructure industry with the House of Representatives expected to vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and with the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act set to expire at midnight.

Given the significance to its members, ATSSA’s Government Relations Team evaluated key concerns being raised about the IIJA’s provisions.

ATSSA’s team analyzed the IIJA ahead of the Senate's bipartisan passage of the IIJA and provided a detailed breakdown of key aspects.

Today, ATSSA provides a fact-versus-fiction analysis of issues commonly raised about the IIJA.

 

House sets date for final infrastructure vote

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The House of Representatives is expected to vote Thursday on the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

Originally, a vote had been expected as early as today. However, on Sunday evening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would begin debate on IIJA today and then vote on Thursday.

The current surface transportation authorization is set to expire on Thursday, meaning the House must pass the infrastructure package or a short-term extension of the Fixing America’s Surface Transporation (FAST) Act, or face the Highway Trust Fund going insolvent.

ATSSA reaches out to DOTs again as raw materials challenges increase

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner sent a letter this afternoon to the directors of every state department of transportation (DOT) to update them on the ongoing challenges facing members of the roadway safety infrastructure industry due to a shortfall in material supplies.

The latest resource severely cut was oxygen, which is needed to make glass beads that are used in pavement marking applications.

“Our members’ supply of oxygen has been cut by 70% in some areas and 100% in others because of the significant escalation of hospitalizations due to the spread of COVID-19 variants and the national trend of oxygen producers realigning the supply of oxygen from industrial customers to critical medical needs to combat the national pandemic,” Tetschner said in today’s letter.

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.

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.

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