ATSSF Celebrates 30 Years of Service
In December 2018, the American Traffic Safety Services Foundation (ATSSF) celebrated 30 years of promoting roadway safety through charitable giving and public awareness programs.
“Since ATSSF’s first meeting in 1988, the foundation has been working to make roadway safety a cultural priority and ensuring fallen workers are not forgotten and their families are supported,” said ATSSF Foundation Manager Lori Diaz.
The Fredericksburg, Virginia-based non-profit was founded in 1988 by member companies of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA). ATSSF’s approach to serving those missions may have changed throughout the years, but its commitment to roadway safety has remained steadfast.
“I’ve been out in work zones, so I understand it’s a dangerous and unpredictable environment,” said David Krahulec, President of Horizon Signal Technologies and the current President of ATSSF’s board of directors. “I feel for the workers out there, not knowing if they and their crew members will be going home at the end of their shift.”
Honor the Fallen
The heart of ATSSF’s public awareness campaign is its National Work Zone Memorial, which honors the men and women who have lost their lives in roadway work zones. This includes workers, first responders, pedestrians and motorists, except for impaired drivers.
“It’s a moving experience when people visit the memorial and find the name they were looking for,” Krahulec said.
The memorial began in 2002 and a new design was unveiled in February of 2017. Throughout the year, the memorial moves around the country to various ATSSA chapters, member companies or safety events. Check out the sidebar within this article to learn where you can find the memorial in 2019.
“When the memorial travels to different events, it’s often picked up by local media who share our mission with the motoring public,” Diaz said. “We hope the memorial encourages them to slow down and pay attention when driving on roadways and through work zones.”
Since establishing its scholarship program in 2002, the foundation has awarded scholarships to 65 children or spouses of fallen workers and permanently disabled work zone workers.
“At the beginning, the scholarships were for $2,000 to $3,000,” Diaz said. “Thanks to our generous donors, the scholarships can now be awarded up to $10,000.”
Last year, ATSSF presented scholarships to eight family members of fallen roadway workers. Scholarship applicants who demonstrate a strong commitment to volunteerism are eligible to receive an additional $1,000 Chuck Bailey Memorial Scholarship in honor of Chuck Bailey, a member of the roadway safety industry who passed away in June 2002.
ATSSF has also announced a new scholarship, the Marty Weed Engineering Scholarship, which will begin accepting applications in the fall of 2019. The scholarship will fund travel costs for traffic engineers new to the industry to attend ATSSA’s Annual Convention & Traffic Expo.
“At the convention, they can learn about innovative products, meet people who do what they do, and bring best practices back to the office and implement what they learn,” Diaz said.
ATSSF also covers travel costs for children of fallen roadway workers to attend Experience Camps. These week long programs in six locations throughout the country bring together children who have lost a parent and assist them with the grieving process. Although the camps are free, the travel costs for the child and his or her chaperone can add up, so ATSSF steps in to assist with those expenses.
“We try to help families at all stages of life,” Diaz said. “We will immediately add their family member’s name to the memorial, and it may be a few years until the children apply to go to the Experience Camps, and a few years more before they apply for our college scholarships, but we will be there for them then, too.”
ATSSF’s largest fundraising events happen at ATSSA’s Annual Convention & Traffic Expo. These include a golf outing, now in its 28th year, and a sporting clays event, in its seventh.
There are a few ATSSA member companies that also run an auction on a piece of equipment. All of the proceeds of that sale are donated to the foundation. The auctions happen at different times throughout the year.
“Because of the dedication of our members and the interest in the foundation’s mission, most of that equipment ends up selling for a higher price than it normally would,” Krahulec said.
Last August, the foundation held their first bowling fundraiser, the Twisted Bowling Tournament, and plans to host it each year to coincide with ATSSA’s Midyear Meeting.
What’s Next for ATSSF
In the future, ATSSF hopes to expand the use of public service announcements on its social media channels to continue to raise awareness about roadway work zone safety.
The foundation also hopes to expand its Experience Camps participation to more middle school and high school students and is looking forward to selecting recipients for the new Marty Weed Engineering Scholarship.
To donate to ATSSF, visit foundation.atssa.com/donate.
2019 National Work Zone Memorial Dates
The National Work Zone Memorial moves around the United States throughout the year. Below are the dates set for 2019.
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Georgia ATSSA chapter
- Hosted by Georgia ATSSA chapter
- Concord, New Hampshire
- New England ATSSA chapter meeting
- Hosted by New Hampshire DOT and New England ATSSA chapter
- Washington, D.C.
- National Work Zone Awareness Week
- Hosted by ATSSA and ATSSF
- Sacramento, California
- Caltrans Fallen Workers Memorial at the California DOT headquarters and the California State Capitol
- Hosted by California ATSSA chapter and California DOT
- Washington, D.C.
- ATSSA’s Legislative Briefing and Fly-In
- Hosted by ATSSA and ATSSF
- Mesa, Arizona
- Celebrate Mesa and Work Zone Safety Training Seminar
- Hosted by City of Mesa Transportation Department and the Arizona ATSSA chapter
The application to host the memorial at a specific location is available on ATSSF’s website.