The American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) is conducting an “open forum” from 8:30 – 10:30 am on Friday, August 24, 2018, in the Williamsburg Lodge’s Allegheny Room A/B (310 S. England Street, Williamsburg, VA 23185). ATSSA currently represents traffic sign, pavement marking, work zone, guardrail and high friction surfacing contractors and manufacturers. We extend an invitation to our traffic signal industry friends and colleagues to participate in this open forum to explore the possibility of ATSSA adding a traffic signal contractor and manufacturers industry division. The forum is free of charge and open to ATSSA members and non-members.
We, as traffic signal industry contractors and manufacturers, assist city, county and state agencies in providing safe and efficient guidance for motorists at roadway intersections. Our involvement in organizations that represent the owners of roadway intersections has often been beneficial, however, when it comes to the adoption of new technologies, having road owner operators serve as our primary regulatory and legislative policy voice has its limitations. Too often the challenges associated with funding safer intersection systems resulted in disjointed roll- outs and minimal systemic benefits to road users. This is especially true to the introduction of technologies designed to directly connect traffic signals with automated driving systems.
The traffic signal industry is the only industry segment directly impacted by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) that is not currently represented by ATSSA. Our industry, however, has benefitted from ATSSA’s policy leadership. The enactment of the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) in 2005 provides significant funding for traffic signal installations. Their efforts to improve work zone safety through policy and training is well known and ATSSA Work Zone Training courses are the gold standard. We submit that, as we enter into this new realm of connected and automated driving systems, joining our industry voice as part of the broader roadway safety industry provides strategic benefits to signal contractors and system manufacturers.
ATSSA is already building strategic relationships with automotive industry associations designed to create joint auto/infrastructure policy bridges. With the rapid development of standards by the auto manufacturers, and tier 1 suppliers for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, manufacturers of traffic control electronics are often lacking input into this standards development process. These relationships will become increasingly important as the future of the traffic signal industry is determined by political leaders at the Federal, State and local levels. We strongly encourage our industry friends and colleagues able to attend this open meeting in Williamsburg to do so. Your ideas, concerns and opinions are important to ensuring that all perspectives are heard.
Dr. Bill Sowell, MBA, PhD
Vice President – Business Development
Eberle Design Inc.
SWARCO America, Inc.