05 September 2018

Safe Roads - Flexible road safety barriers making high-risk rural highways safer

Too many New Zealanders are dying or being injured on our roads. Family, friends, work mates, they’re ordinary Kiwis whose lives are suddenly torn apart ... which is why the government is investing $600m over six years targeting the prevention of 900 deaths and serious injuries on high-risk rural state highways over a decade.

The NZ Transport Agency’s Safe Roads and Roadsides Programme intends to make around 1500km of state highway safer through measures such as rumble strips, shoulder widening, safety barriers and better signage. The Agency is working with stakeholders and local communities to find safety solutions that will make a difference. The belief is that, while mistakes will still happen, if our roads and roadsides can be made safer, more of us might survive those crashes.

Since the programme began eight projects have been completed, 12 are in construction, 10 are in design, 17 are in the business case stage and three have yet to commence.

The right barrier for the road

Flexible road safety barriers are a good fit for our roads. They’re narrow and work best on long, straight sections and gentle curves. More importantly though, they’re the safest barrier if someone does hit them. Sometimes, especially if there are tight corners, guardrails or even a combination of the two are used.

Barriers catch you before you hit something harder

Flexible road safety barriers are a road safety success story. When fitted along the side and centre of the road, they reduce the number of people killed by up to 90 percent. If you hit a flexible barrier the steel cables flex, slowing down your vehicle and keeping it upright. They absorb the impact so you and the people with you, don’t.

Median barriers

Median barriers put something between you and an oncoming car, truck or motorcycle. This means if someone loses control or drifts across the centreline, the result isn’t a deadly head-on crash.

Side barriers

Side barriers catch vehicles that leave the road, grabbing them before they hit something harder like a pole, tree or ditch.

For more information call CSP on 0800 655200 or go to: www.nzta.govt.nz/safety