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Safety

Safety is a top priority with everyone involved in the road- and bridge-building market. The Safety Channel is a reflection of the commitment to reduce injuries and fatalities at the jobsite. Enhancing this section is Roads & Bridges' continued partnership with the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA). ATSSA has represented companies and individuals in the traffic control and roadway safety industry for 35 years. Over 1,800 members provide the majority of safety features, services and materials used on the nation's roadways.

News May 22, 2015
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is considering using drones to keep track of road conditions in order to improve safety for highway construction workers and drivers.   Fifty-six cameras are already being used to monitor traffic in West Michigan.   "MDOT thinks there's a lot of...
News May 14, 2015
Overall train accidents have been decreasing over the past few years, but surged in 2015 and Amtrak is the biggest offender.   In the first two months of 2015, Amtrak reported 18 accidents, the highest rate of accidents compared to all other trains and commuter trains.   Amtrak’s lackluster record...
News May 08, 2015
  In a post to her Facebook page, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin addressed the signing of House Bill 1965, which effectively makes it a crime to text while driving within the state. Known as the “Trooper Nicholas Dees and Keith Burch Act of 2015,” in honor of the troopers who were involved in a...
Article May 01, 2015
When 3M wanted to test a pavement-marking system that could make it easier for drivers to find their way through work zones in dark, rainy weather, the company turned to the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Highways for LIFE Technology Partnerships Program.   Wet road conditions can make it...
Article May 01, 2015
Priorities for the design of roadways have shifted over the years—from a primary emphasis on increasing capacity to considering the purpose of streets and roads in the context of specific settings (often referred to as context-sensitive design). A technique that has gained popularity in recent...
Article May 01, 2015
Nontangent roadway sections present a unique challenge for pavements.   The pavement surface must satisfy the necessary friction demand to ensure safety and driver comfort based on the geometry (grade, radius of curvature and superelevation) and anticipated speed of vehicles navigating the curve....
Article May 01, 2015
Those white and yellow lines on the roadway delineate lanes and orient and guide roadway users, enhancing traffic efficiency, reducing conflict and making navigating easier and more comfortable for travelers.   Most importantly, by helping roadway users navigate properly, those lines help reduce...
Article May 01, 2015
Who would have imagined five years ago that cell phones and texting would become so deadly?   As an avid motorcyclist, I can attest that literally every “close encounter” I have with a four-wheeler features a distracted driver either talking on a cell phone or texting. As bad as it is on the open...
Article May 01, 2015
To help states evaluate their work-zone practices, and to help assess work-zone practices nationally, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) developed the Work Zone Mobility and Safety Self Assessment (WZ SA) tool.   The WZ SA tool consists of a set of 46 questions designed to assist those with...
Article May 01, 2015
At the heart of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) is the notion of getting information about the transportation network to those who need it in a timely, efficient manner.   Better-informed drivers make smarter, safer traveling decisions. Traffic-management personnel—if armed with better...
Article May 01, 2015
Two-way left-turn lanes (TWLTLs) and raised medians are the two most common types of median treatments.   A TWLTL is a continuous lane between opposing lanes of traffic to allow traffic to make left turns from both directions, and a raised median is a physical barrier that separates opposing lanes...
Article May 01, 2015
When a lane is closed on a two-lane, two-way roadway, flaggers are typically used to control the flow of traffic through the work zone.   While various measures have been implemented in recent years to improve the safety and effectiveness of flaggers, crashes involving flaggers still occur and...
Article May 01, 2015
The current federal transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), was signed into law on July 6, 2012.   MAP-21 legislation demonstrates that Congress recognized the great strides made by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy...
Article May 01, 2015
Intersection crashes continue to represent a significant share of transportation fatalities and serious injuries throughout the country.   There were more than $2.2 million in crashes at or related to intersections in 2009, according to the motor vehicle crash data from FARS and GES. Of those...
Article May 01, 2015
A March meeting of transportation officials and transportation-industry members in Crystal City, Va., began to lay the groundwork for a new movement in digital asset data collection.   This effort is designed at systematizing the process of network asset data collection and 3-D virtual design while...
Case Studies May 01, 2015

End-of-Queue Warning System on display at a TxDOT media event in May, 2013. 

In our Roads&Bridges case study from March 2013, we reported that the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) had recently announced the installation of a new traffic safety countermeasure on I-35 work zones.   We then described the new countermeasure, known as the End-of-Queue Warning...
Article May 01, 2015
As Washington, D.C., plunged into summer last year, Congress came together and passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, better known as MAP-21.   It was a bumpy road to get there, but the final vote for passage in both chambers was overwhelmingly bipartisan. Although the law...
Article April 28, 2015
Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) are being increasingly deployed in work zones to improve traffic operations and safety.   Also known as smart work-zone systems, these deployments provide real-time information to travelers, monitor traffic conditions and manage incidents. Despite numerous...
Article April 28, 2015
Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the first stop-sign installation.   Not surprisingly, this innovation was developed and installed in Detroit. It was a rather simple device—the word STOP written in black on a white metal background. Over the next century a system of uniform rules, road-...
Article April 28, 2015
It is just before 6 a.m. when you are awakened by the phone. Annoyed that someone would call you at such an early hour, you answer thinking, “what could be so important?”   Your world begins to spin when you learn your spouse has been killed by a motorist while working on a nearby roadway.  ...
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