ATSSA and TRB launch national contest to improve roadway safety


The American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) has announced the second annual Traffic Control Device Challenge, which offers its winners cash prizes and national media recognition for their progressive ideas.

In partnership with the Transportation Research Board (TRB), ATSSA is asking engineering students to focus on how the USA’s roadway system can be made safer, through innovation, to accommodate road users of all types.

During the first year of the contest, students from Pennsylvania State University, New Mexico State University and the University of Arizona also had the opportunity to display their ideas to the roadway safety industry during ATSSA’s Annual Convention and Traffic Expo in Phoenix, Arizona.

Eligible participants can be high school, community college, college, graduate students, or teams of students, who have an interest in transportation infrastructure safety.

Submissions to the contest must be an original design or modification of an industry-accepted design or product. A special panel of TRB experts will then judge entries based on the ability of the idea to address a specific roadway problem, how easily it can be understood by all road users, its applicability on a nationwide basis, and its feasibility for implementation. Interested participants can find application details on the ATSSA website, and the submission deadline is October 1.

Up to 12 finalists will be invited to display their ideas at the 2018 TRB annual meeting in Washington DC in early 2018. From those, first, second and third place winners will be selected to present their concepts to the roadway safety industry at ATSSA’s 48th Annual Convention and Traffic Expo in San Antonio, Texas, on January 26-30.

“For the second annual competition, we are seeking three new finalists to carry the torch to the next level of innovation and technology,” said Dr Paul Carlson, senior research engineer at Texas A&M Transportation Institute. “We’re looking for new ideas to make our roadways safer and more efficient for all road users.”

ATSSA’s communications director, James Baron, added, “There are numerous transportation issues across the country that would welcome fresh, creative innovate ideas, or products and services to help improve our nation’s roadways for all road users. For example, as we see connected and automated vehicles becoming reality more and more each day, our nation’s transportation system must be prepared to meet the demand of those motorists and those vehicles. Work zone safety is another area that we are constantly seeking improvements in.”

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).