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Improving Road Safety Barrier Effectiveness - Issues and Opportunities

Davis, D (Peer reviewed)

Road Environment

ARSC conference 2015

A key element of the Safe System approach is safer roads and roadsides. Roadside safety interventions often default to road safety barrier installations to shield hazards; due to budget limitations and constrained road reserves. But the significant safety benefits possible through advances in barrier hardware technology and improvements in the understanding of design have not been fully realized. Achieving fit for purpose installations continues to challenge the capabilities of the roading industry. Their emerging challenge will be to meet the aspirations of the road controlling authorities through improving road safety barrier design, specification and installation._x000D_

_x000D_The likelihood of sophisticated barrier hardware performing as complied and accepted becomes increasingly questionable as the installation conditions vary from those tested. A survey of legacy road safety barrier systems in New Zealand provides some guidance in the development of a strategy to advance the general improvement in road safety barrier design, hardware specification and installations towards improving roadside safety. _x000D_

There are a number of systemic challenges facing industry that need to be addressed to get the most out of the investment in road safety barriers. These include: _x000D_

* adopting the most effective compliance regime, _x000D_

* accepting compliant hardware and moving away from legacy hardware that cannot achieve compliance, _x000D_

* adopt a certification regime for both designers and installers._x000D_

_x000D_This paper reviews impediments and opportunities to achieving improved road safety barrier installations_x000D_