TRAFFIC SAFETY: Innovation at ATSSA

Annual Traffic Expo shows newest in traffic safety

Safety Article May 04, 2012
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Keeping drivers on the right path is the goal of the Wrong Way Driver Warning System from Traffic & Parking Control Co. Inc. (TAPCO), Brown Deer, Wis., which took first place in the 2012 ATSSA Innovation Awards. The awards were distributed at ATSSA’s Traffic Expo, held in February at the Tampa Convention Center.


The solar-powered wrong-way sign sports LED flashers to warn motorists they are going the wrong direction. With the ability to operate 24/7 or in vehicle-activated mode, these signs have proven effective at preventing collisions, particularly on highway ramps or one-way streets.


“TAPCO is honored to accept ATSSA’s 2012 Innovation Award,” Richard Bergholz and John Kugel, TAPCO owners, said. “We share ATSSA’s commitment to making our nation’s roadways safer, and we truly appreciate the reward of working with our valued customers to implement solutions that prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities.”


Second Place
Barrier Systems Inc.
The collapsible framework of the TAU-II crash cushion from Barrier Systems Inc., Vacaville, Calif., backs TAU-II R, the convertible crash cushion that took second place. Users can change the redirective crash cushion into a self-restoring one simply by swapping the energy-absorbing cartridges for self-restoring cartridges. A heavy-duty, reusable nose is the other marked difference between the two models.


Third Place
Plastic Safety Systems Inc.
Cold-weather performance is what separates the RoadQuake 3.0 Temporary Rumble Strip from Plastic Safety Systems Inc., Cleveland—third place in the Innovation Awards—from the company’s modular product, thanks to revised polymer formulas. Otherwise it shares the same size and configuration. In particular, the new model enhances motorcycle safety due to the bevels on both transverse sides of the strip. Strips are optimized for areas with speed limits of 65 mph or less. No installation is required and all strips have a three- to five-year life expectancy.

A brief description of each of the products highlighted in the Traffic Expo New Product Showcase can be found below.


Supersized
Visible up to 1 mile away, the Super LED Road Flares from Aervoe Industries Inc., Gardnerville, Nev., sport 24 LED lights in five different flash patterns. The smoke- and flame-free flares are available in three different colors in single packs or self-charging four-pack kits. Single packs include an AC charger, 12-V charger and nylon bag; kit includes two tripods. Flare run time lasts up to 10 hours. All flares are corrosion- and crush-proof and waterproof up to 50 ft.


Real-time monitoring
The M7 Thermal Data Logging System from Epic Solutions, Fargo, N.D., monitors material application in real-time during road striping. All measurements from the truck-mounted device are based on weight; it can measure mil thickness, number of beads applied, material application temperatures, average speed, GPS data and other application information. Data can be exported to an Excel spreadsheet, floppy or scandisk for later analysis; a portable 8.5- × 11-in. printer is provided for a hard-copy option. 


Improved sprayer
Larger pumps and a detachable gun with 25 ft of hose highlight Epic Solutions’ MMA 1:1 Spray Machine, both of which allow for greater production. Other features include a pressurized bead system and a mixing tube at the gun for easy cleanup. The machine comes on a self-propelled cart.


High reflectivity
Maximized reflectivity in paint striping is the benefit of the Zero Net Velocity Bead Dispenser from EZ-Liner Industries, Orange City, Iowa. The dispenser keeps beads from rolling around in the wet paint. Zero velocity is achieved thanks to the dispenser’s ability to eject beads with a rearward velocity, which negates the forward velocity of the striping vehicle.


Four of a kind
Four models are available in the Traffic Scapes line of preformed thermoplastic pavement-marking materials from Flint Trading Inc., Thomasville, N.C.: TrafficPatterns, TrafficPatterns XD, DuraTherm and DecoMark. TrafficPatterns and its XD variety are designed to improve safety and visibility at intersections; they also can be used to create low-cost median or island effects without raised curbs. DuraTherm material is inlaid slightly below the surface, making it perfect for high-traffic crosswalks. DecoMark can be used to create surface signage and logos in any location. All models feature high skid and slip resistance.


Eco-friendly signage
The MicroStrate series from Image Microsystems, Austin, Texas, is composed of 100% recycled electronic waste, making it some of the most “green” signage available. Their durability is comparable to aluminum, with a carbon footprint one-quarter the size. MicroStrate is 30% less expensive than other sign products and is less theft-prone.


Laser-guided precision
LineLokr from LaserLine Mfg. Inc., Redmond, Ore., is a long-range layout laser that allows the user to snap a 3,000-ft laser line with the push of a single button.


Walk-behind striper
The Plural Component 98:2 Walk Behind Striper from Linetech Equipment Mfg. Ltd., St. Catharines, Ontario, utilizes two components for methacrylate durable markings. It requires less maintenance than other stripers, because the two components mix only in the tip of the striper, never in the tank; this leads to a longer “pot life.” The unique design also means less flushing is required.


Crash-resistant posts
Constructed from thermoplastic polyurethane, DP 200 EFX “City Posts” from Pexco/Davidson Traffic Control Products, Tacoma, Wash., are highly impact-resistant yet extremely flexible, returning to a fully upright position even after multiple impacts. They also are built to withstand both high and low temperature extremes. Placement in an embedded anchor cup allows for easy installation and replacement. City posts are available in white, yellow, orange and black; sizes range from 3 to 48 in.


A memorable shape
Durability is the defining trait of Pexco/Davidson’s X-Last Polyurethane Bollards, which bend but don’t break, keeping vehicles out of restricted zones. At the same time, shape memory technology means emergency vehicles can drive over them and they will simply bounce back into place, with no damage to bollard or vehicle. Available with various colors, designs and fastenings, these bollards are safer and more environmentally friendly than traditional metallic ones.


Ground-mounted post
A cloverleaf design sets the Pexco/Davidson FG (Flexi-Guide) 300 Ground Mounts apart from other channelizer posts; it allows posts to rebound faster from impact than a typical rounded tube. All three models are easy to install and replace and are compatible with any of Pexco’s six different base styles. Bases and posts are completely reusable. Posts are available in 11 fluorescent colors. 


Flexible guardrail marker
At its best in cold weather conditions, the S-Flex Guardrail Marker from Pexco/Davidson can be mounted to any wood or metal guardrail post. The flexible “Gator Jaw” urethane hinge bounces back into place following impact, as opposed to traditional hinges that eventually break.  


Making a path
Keep pedestrians safe in work zones with Pexco/Davidson’s Pedestrian Access Route (PAR) Type II Barricade, which is ADA- and MUTCD-compliant. The high-strength barrier is lightweight, assembles quickly and withstands all weather conditions. The top panel provides a smooth hand guide, while the bottom rail allows water drainage and guides pedestrians using a cane. All panels are UV-stabilized, with a three-year limited warranty against delamination and breakage. 


Get a grip
The Claw Delineator from Plasticade, Skokie, Ill., allows for quick and easy placement and pickup. It also can be used for caution tape. Two recessed areas feature reflective sheeting. Plasticade offers 10- or 12-lb bases to go with the Claw Delineator.


Water-based marking
The proprietary resin of Sherwin Williams, North Canton, Ohio, forms the base of this waterborne formula designed specifically for traffic-marking applications. The marking allows enhanced handling and durability thanks to Sher-Lane technology, which utilizes glass-bead adhesion.


Electronic crossing guard
Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (RRFB) LED arrays from TAPCO are ideally suited for pedestrian and school crossings, attaching to existing signs to alert drivers. The extra-large arrays are solar-powered and pedestrian-activated, best suited for high-speed and multilane crossing areas. Each set also includes side-mounted arrays designed for pedestrian awareness.


Sign inventory
Keeping track of traffic signs is simple with TAPCO’s SimpleSigns Sign Inventory Management Software. The program tracks types of signs (for MUTCD requirements), location, characteristics and activity history (installations, inspections, repairs, etc.). All data is managed from two tables—Sign Database and Activities Tables—on a single screen and easily searchable. Users can designate additional data fields as needed.


Calming influence
An addition to the DriveBrite Urban Radar Driver Feedback or Variable Speed Limit Signs from TraffiCalm, Post Falls, Idaho, the SDE Display reinforces posted speed limits with text and icons. Display screens measure 20 × 30 in.; characters are 5 in. tall. LED lights are available in white, fluorescent yellow-green, fluorescent orange or yellow.


Two for one
The TR2 from Titan Tools, Plymouth, Minn., combines line striping and stenciling tips into one, allowing faster application and greater flexibility. Tips can be attached to any airless gun model and switched out quickly. Combining the tips also allows greater precision in painting.


Mobile alert system
Turn the SonoBlaster Work Zone Intrusion Alarm from Transpo Industries, New Rochelle, N.Y., into a freestanding protection unit—independent of cones, barrels or barricades—with the SonoBlaster Mobility Kit. The system blasts a CO2-powered horn at 125 dB for approximately 15 seconds when it detects vehicle impact, allowing workers and drivers more time to react. The Mobility Kit comes with a built-in tripod. R&B

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