Feature Article: The Combined Florida Traffic Safety Resource Center Comes to T2

Automated Truck-Mounted Attenuator Study Concludes

SRC Updates

….. National Bike Month

….. UF Pedestrian Outreach

….. Click It or Ticket

….. New LATCH Manuals

….. Scholarships Available for CPS Certification and Recertification Fees



Employment Opportunities

….. Research Associate (516279)

….. Research Associate (516291)

….. OPS Administrative Assistant (516161)

Searching for Safety or Technical Training?

Subscribe to the UFTI-T2 newsletter

Director’s message

Nithin Agarwal, Director

If one word can sum up the past quarter, that word is “busy”! The result of all that activity is many exciting updates as projects were completed, new projects were added, and the T2 Center expands its scope and capacity.

ATMA Project Completed – The automated truck-mounted attenuator, or ATMA, project has been completed. The T2 Center had the opportunity to test this exciting new safety technology, which has the potential to save both highway worker and highway driver lives. Our final report has been completed, and a story about the wrap-up appears in this newsletter.

Classes, Courses, and Webinars! – One reason that we’ve been so busy is because you have! With the beginning of the pandemic response in March 2020, we were forced to pivot to online training for all our courses. Enrollment has increased as students discovered the convenience of online training. Both students and employers like the fact that training can be received with less time away from home and work. Our webinars for transportation professionals have also been popular, and we have added additional training in that category as well. The schedule of courses and webinars for the next three months appears in this newsletter with direct links to registration. We are also planning a variety of new course offerings, including Data Analytics for transportation professionals and Transportation Equity! How can the T2 Center help you advance professionally?

Florida Traffic Safety Resource Center – For many years, the T2 Center has hosted and operated two Safety Resource Centers (SRCs) for the FDOT Safety Office: the Ped-Bike Safety Resource Center and the Occupant Protection Resource Center. These are the largest of the SRCs that the Safety Office sponsors, and we are excited to share that UF and the T2 Center have been chosen to develop, host, and operate the Florida Traffic Safety Resource Center (FTSRC) that brings together the 17 safety resource programs into one operation. In the next quarter, we will focus on the developmental and planning phase for FTSRC. See the top story in this quarter’s newsletter for details!

Traffic Safety Projects – The Transportation Safety Center continues its work with local agencies to provide technical assistance by identifying safety projects and recommending mitigation options. The counties and other groups we have worked with so far have found this type of analysis helpful, and we are scheduled to work with several more of Florida’s less populous counties to help identify and address their safety issues.

Be Part of the Action at T2! – As work at the T2 Center continues to increase, we are looking for motivated professionals to join our administrative team. Positions are currently open – these opportunities are described at the end of this newsletter where you will also find links to them at the UF Jobs website.

Upcoming Courses

Currently, all UFTI T2 Center training courses are offered online.

  • Basic Roadway Plans Reading – 7/14/2021 (one session)
  • Road Safety 365 5/20/2021 (on session)
  • Signs, Pavement Markings and the MUTCD – 7/8/2021 (one session)
  • Traffic Engineering Fundamentals – VIRTUAL Training – 7/7-21/2021 (three sessions)
  • Transportation Asset Management – 7/8/2021-7/9//2021 (two sessions)
  • Advanced Maintenance of Traffic

(Seven courses between May 15 and Aug 15, 2021; each course is 20 hours of training over two days)

5/18-19/2021     6/8, 15/2021       6/24-25/2021     6/29-30/2021

7/15-16/2021     7/28-29/2021     8/10-11/2021

  • Advanced Maintenance of Traffic – Refresher

(Two courses between May 15 and Aug 15, 2021; each course is one session)

6/3/2021              8/3/2021

  • Intermediate Maintenance of Traffic

(Four courses between May 15 and Aug 15, 2021; each course is 16 hours of training over two days)

5/26-27/2021     6/16-17/2021     7/7-8/2021          7/20-21/2021

  • Intermediate Maintenance of Traffic – Refresher

(Four courses between May 15 and Aug 15, 2021; each course is one session)

6/1/2021              6/22/2021            7/13/2021            8/5/2021

  • Pilot/Escort Flagging

(Four courses between May 15 and Aug 15, 2021; each course is one session)

6/23/2021            7/14/2021            8/4/2021              8/25/2021

  • WEEKEND Pilot/Escort Flagging

(Four courses between May 15 and Aug 15, 2021; each course is one session)

5/29/2021            6/19/2021            7/10/2021            7/31/2021       

Center News

The Combined Florida Traffic Safety Resource Center Comes to T2

The FDOT Safety Office awarded the UFTI-T2 Center a grant to develop and operate the new Florida Traffic Safety Resource Center (FTSRC).

The Florida Traffic Safety Resource Center (FTSRC) is a one-stop online store for ordering and distributing FDOT print and digital educational materials and safety equipment to improve the safety of the traveling public and reduce fatalities and serious injuries on Florida’s roadways. The resources are available at no cost to safety professionals, educators, and local agencies who host events or activities to promote transportation safety. This effort will directly support the implementation of Florida’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) and focus on each of the 17 emphasis areas identified in the SHSP.   

17 emphasis areas provide focus for FDOT safety initiatives.

The T2 Center will leverage its experience of over 13 years operating the PedBike Safety Resource Center and the Occupant Protection Resource Centers. During that period, the T2 Center has supported FDOT and NHTSA by distributing close to 4 million resources (including child safety seats, bicycle helmets, educational print materials, etc.) to about 4,000 unique safety partners in Florida.

As children return to school, teaching them about the rules of the road and how to safety navigate those dangers is especially important. The FTSRC has educational resources targeting our youngest road users, as well as a variety of resources for all ages who need to learn and  practice road safety in their everyday lives.

In addition to serving pedestrian, bicyclist, and child passenger safety advocates, the FTSRC will serve motorcyclists and teen and aging drivers and educate drivers of the dangers of impaired and distracted driving. 

The new FTSRC will also work closely with FDOT’s traffic safety coalitions and their multiple traffic safety partners as they work to achieve “Florida’s Driving Down Fatalities” initiative to eliminate fatalities and reduce serious injuries on all public roadways.

The FTSRC is expected to “go live” in Fall of 2021! Stay tuned for more updates!

Automated Truck-Mounted Attenuator Study Concludes

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) funded and the UFTI T2 Center conducted a demonstration and evaluation project of a promising new safety technology known as the automated truck-mounted attenuator (ATMA), that could make roadway work safer for both road workers and drivers. The ATMA combines a lead truck that has a control unit and an automated, driverless follower truck that carries an attenuator.  An attenuator is a device mounted on the back of a truck which safely absorbs the impact of most vehicle collisions. The ATMA has the potential to further improve work zone safety by removing the driver from the vulnerable follower vehicle. This study provided an opportunity to capture qualitative and quantitative data from the ATMA on the operational and safety performance, which resulted in several lessons learned and practical recommendations documented herein.

The ATMA is tested for its minimum turning radius.

Improving Work Zone Safety

Maintaining a safe and efficient operation of roadways is a high priority for all transportation agencies.  When required, testing, repair, or maintenance operations are conducted in work zones while traffic moves around them. Warning signs, flashing arrow signs, and cones are all set up to delineate work zones and to protect both the workers and the traveling public. Despite these precautions, occasionally inattentive drivers crash into a work zone. Road workers and drivers are killed and injured in such incidents every year.

Using an attenuator vehicle at the front end of a work zone enhances road work safety. An attenuator vehicle can safely absorb the impact of a passenger vehicle traveling up to 50 miles an hour, but there are times when the colliding vehicle is larger or traveling faster than the attenuator is designed for, and the resulting collision can kill or injure the colliding vehicle’s driver and passengers. Drivers of the attenuator vehicles may also be killed or injured in these incidents.

Will the ATMA Work in Florida?

The ATMA was created by Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, Inc., in 2014.  Several agencies in the U.K. and the U.S. have adopted the ATMA for various types of road work. For example, in Colorado, the ATMA is approved for striping operations in certain areas. Florida has recently initiated the subject project to explore whether and how it can be best used on Florida roadways. The tests of this new technology were conducted in both controlled, off-road settings and in simulated work zone situations on a variety of active roadways, including the Interstate, state roads, and smaller urban roads. In all tests, the leader vehicle towed a pavement testing device called a falling weight deflectometer (FWD).  This is done to simulate slow moving operations with intermittent stop and go testing.

UFTI-T2 staff members assessed several aspects of the ATMA’s operational and safety performance in all these settings. In the controlled setting, the staff became familiar with the ATMA’s operation and set up courses to test its ability to navigate and its response to unforeseen situations. In these preliminary Florida tests, the ATMA generally performed as designed, and operations went smoothly for the typical applications that the ATMA was designed for.

There Were Challenges

The main challenge on active multilane roadways was that some drivers did not see the vehicles in the ATMA caravan as a single work group, and they changed lanes into the space between the leader and the follower vehicles. For the follower vehicle, this was an unexpected barrier, and it would initiate emergency stops. On two-lane roads, where it is important for slower moving work vehicles to be able to pull off the road quickly to allow traffic to proceed, the ATMA’s slower operational requirement resulted in traffic backups. It is noted that this is a scenario where manual operation also would result in traffic backup; however, it is easier for manual operator to move over on the shoulder and allow traffic to pass by quickly. On urban roads, the ATMA faced challenges when encountering roundabouts – again, this was a typical scenario that ATMA was not designed to negotiate. Testing in the controlled setting showed that the minimum turning radius for the ATMA was about 65 feet, which indicated that most urban roundabouts in Florida would be a challenge. Otherwise, the ATMA operated without incident.

Furthermore, it was also observed that the ATMA did not operate well under tree cover or in general when there was interference or limited GPS coverage. The follower vehicle depends on a satellite connection to follow the leader’s track, and under the tree cover of part of the test location, the satellite signal was either intermittent or blocked. The follower is designed to continue to run for about 45 seconds (in dead reckoning, or DR, mode) using information it already has to predict the best course, but after a preset duration, the safety feature would initiate the stop. It was clear that the ATMA, as currently designed, cannot operate without a driver where there is heavy tree cover or poor cell and GPS reception.

Drivers cutting in, roundabouts, and tree cover certainly limit the current ATMA technology as tested and provided valuable lessons. These lessons also suggest design directions to the Kratos engineers and may help lead the updates for the ATMAs.

The ATMA is tested on the open road. The follower vehicle towing the bright yellow attenuator unit is in the foreground.


The ATMA testing conducted by UFTI-T2 indicated that training for the leader vehicle’s driver is essential for reliable and safe operation of the ATMA. Route selection and scouting are important to plan the mobile work operation – especially at intersections and locations where there is change in horizontal and vertical alignments. All the testing conducted in this project was done with a safety driver in the ATMA follower vehicle. However, further testing would require that the ATMA be used as intended, with no driver in the follower vehicle. This is needed if the full range of possible situations are to be understood and addressed for driver training. More data related to work zone activity and work zone injury and death are needed to understand the benefit-cost of the ATMA as compared to other safety interventions. Altogether, the ATMA is a promising technology and further study and engineering refinements will help make it a part of the transportation maintenance toolkit. It is also acknowledged that the Kratos team are continuously advancing their equipment and technology to overcome the shortcomings.

Full details of the ATMA testing are available in the project final report, available through the UFTI-T2 website.

Acknowledgement: This pilot demonstration and evaluation project was funded by Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).


Safety Resource Center Updates

National Bike Month

As spring blossoms, it is time to think about bike safety! Warmer weather and longer days lead to an increased number of cyclists on the roads and sidewalks.  Spring is the beginning of cycling season and May is National Bike Month. The SRC has Bike helmets and educational resources available for all Floridians. 

Many organizations will hold bike related safety events this month, maybe one in your community.  If you have an event planned but have not yet ordered your safety resources, there is still time. Visit the PedBike SRC website to place your order.

If you do not have an event planned, you could still order material and make it happen. But if the timing is wrong for your community to have an event do not worry.  We support cycling safety efforts every week of the year!


pedestrian outreach

UF Pedestrian Outreach

The Safety Resource Center is in Gainesville at the University of Florida. Recently several UF students were injured and two killed in two separate incidents at the same intersection. All were victims of the careless actions of others.

A cry rose from the student body, the community, and anyone that heard the sad news.  Something must be done!  The FDOT heard the cry and things are happening.  Engineers will find engineering solutions. Law enforcement will find a law enforcement solution.  The SRC is working on an education and outreach solution.  For six weeks, Feb- Mar, SRC Staff were on UF main campus distributing literature and reflective armbands to help pedestrians walk safely on and around campus.  SRC Staff was joined by various UPD officers, FDOT employees, and student volunteers.

Street level interaction and visibility helps raise awareness and reinforce good behavior on the part of drivers and pedestrians. This type of outreach is what the SRC promotes and engages in to raise awareness on the local level. There is no single solution that will solve the issues that lead to pedestrian fatalities.  Approaching the problems from many different angles and involving many groups will lead to better solutions.

UFTI-T2 SRC Staff collecting a safety pledge and giving away a reflective armband.

The SRC ships helmets and educational resources and is dedicated to keeping you and your community safe and supplied with bike and pedestrian safety resources.   

 We encourage you to continue your local education and outreach efforts.  If you have questions about the program or any of the resources available at the SRC please contact Paul Simpson by email or phone to discuss. pmsimpson@ufl.edu 352-273-1694 

Be Safe!  — PedBike Staff 

click it

Click It Or Ticket (https://clickitfla.com/)

We all hear the words, but what is it?  According to the FDOT Safety Office webpage, “The Click It or Ticket (CIOT) campaign is a high-visibility enforcement effort designed to detect violators of Florida’s traffic laws with special emphasis on occupant protection.”  Saving lives is the goal, enforcement is the tool. The 2021 Florida effort consists of a media campaign and an enforcement campaign and will run from May 10th until June 17th.  FDOT offers resources for local agencies that wish to take part.

For more information or to view CIOT media spots, please visit: https://www.fdot.gov/safety/2a-programs/op/ciot.shtm.


New LATCH Manuals

CPS Instructors and Technicians must recertify every two years. Florida’s recertification rate is below the national average. The OPRC offers scholarships to help with Safe Kids certification and recertification fees, as well as proxy and instructor candidate fees. Scholarships must be applied for before a class begins.  Visit the OPRC scholarship website to learn more.


Scholarships Available for CPS Certification and Recertification Fees

CPS Instructors and Technicians must recertify every two years. Florida’s recertification rate is below the national average. The OPRC offers scholarships to help with Safe Kids certification and recertification fees, as well as proxy and instructor candidate fees. Scholarships must be applied for before a class begins.  Visit the OPRC scholarship website to learn more.


FDOT Research for February–April 2021

UFTI-T2 compiles a quarterly list of Florida Department of Research (FDOT) research projects that have been completed and published or that have been recently funded. These lists are available in the FDOT Quarterly Research Summary.


Employment Opportunities

Research Coordinator I

This Research Coordinator position at T2 will support research, training, administration, and communications for the T2 Center. The position requires strong organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple deadlines. Briefly, the Research Coordinator will be the primary liaison between the T2 Center and the grant management and administration divisions at UF, will assist the training program with course production, will work with UF personnel policies, payroll administration, and financial management, and will coordinate communications with Center partners as well as prepare documents to support a variety of Center functions.

For details of job functions and responsibilities, view the job description on the Careers at UF website (UF Job 516279).

Research Coordinator I

The Research Coordinator position will focus on (1) tasks related to the newly funded combined Florida Traffic Safety Resource Center (see story in this newsletter) and (2) tasks related to the T2 training program (referred to in-house as the auxiliary program). Procurement, production, and reporting are central responsibilities of this position, all of which require a detail- and deadline-oriented candidate. The Research Coordinator will also prepare and deliver presentation at meetings and conferences to promote T2 trainings and projects.

For details of job functions and responsibilities, view the job description on the Careers at UF website (UF Job 516627).

OPS Administrative Support Assistant

The Administrative Support Assistant will work with T2 Center staff to administer grants, support and produce training, and additional related duties.

For details of job functions and responsibilities, view the job description on the Careers at UF website (UF Job 516161).


Searching for Safety or Technical Training?

T2 can work with you to meet your training needs.  Whether it is heavy equipment, project management, Traffic Engineering Fundamentals, or countless other topics.

We can provide an array of webinars geared to give you the most relevant information without the need to travel. Let us know your areas of interest, and we can work with our experts to provide training either in instructor-led or webinar formats.

Many of our courses are approved for Professional Engineer (PE) credits.

Contact Jasper Masciocchi at j.masciocchi@ufl.edu or 352.273.1685 to discuss your training needs.


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