Vulnerable Road User recommendations from ATSSA

Sept. 9, 2021

The American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) released its recommendations for “Developing an Effective Vulnerable Road User (VRU) Program” to address rising pedestrian fatalities as well as the safety of people not in vehicles but who utilize the roadways.

“This includes bicyclists and others who might not only walk, but roll, and are at a distinct and dangerous disadvantage when crossing a road or being in a road with vehicles and trucks,” ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner said in a letter to the heads of state departments of transportation (DOTs) across the country.

The document includes 19 recommendations assembled by ATSSA’s Traffic Signals Committee that Tetschner said ATSSA believes “will help put VRUs on a more equal footing with vehicle‐based travel, not only in terms of safety, but as a means of effective and efficient travel mode.”

The recommendations include items such as developing and maintaining a specific program to track, monitor, and mitigate VRU crashes, as well as implementing a VRU network plan that works to provide effective and efficient crossings. ATSSA also recommends conducting a system-wide condition assessment of VRU infrastructure. It is equally important to implement laws that give more rights and responsibilities to VRUs. Other changes are recommended to the overall design of VRU spaces such as providing street lighting that enhance nighttime visibility and security, along with providing supplemental traffic signal indications for those who have visual, hearing, ambulatory, or other impairments.

“As you consider the future roadway safety infrastructure element of your policies and practices related to VRUs, we hope that this guidance will provide some useful information to you and your staff,” Tetschner wrote.

View the full list of VRU recommendations and learn more about ATSSA’s efforts to advance roadways safety at


Editor's Note: Scranton Gillette Communications and the SGC Infrastructure Group are not liable for the accuracy, efficacy and validity of the claims made in this piece. The views expressed in this content do not reflect the position of the Roads & Bridges' Editorial Team.