Roller crash barriers planned on upcoming roads in Kerala

Curves and other vulnerable spots of roads in the high ranges and beside waterbodies in Kerala would get roller crash barriers, which help avert fatal accidents by largely absorbing the impact of a crash and deflecting the out-of-control vehicle towards the road.

They will be installed in areas where W-beam crash barriers or guard stones at frequent intervals that was traditionally used, would be inadequate.

"W-beam crash barriers prevent an out-of control vehicle from falling off a gradient, by redirecting it towards the road. Roller crash barriers are even safer since they can absorb more shock and deflect vehicles which ram them back to the road. They also help avoid serious injuries, by considerably absorbing the shock," said T. Elangovan, Executive Director of Kerala Road Safety Authority (KRSA).

It has also been proven in States like Tamil Nadu that damage to vehicles will be lesser when roller barriers are used. They will also help avoid vehicles turning turtle in the impact of the crash. They will thus be deployed more in new and upcoming road and highway projects, it is learnt.

Priority will be accorded to accident-prone areas and curves in the hills. Road safety funds have been given to PWD. More areas will be covered in a phased manner, sources said.

W-beam crash barriers are being installed in the 80-km-long Kazhakoottam-Adoor stretch of MC Road under Safe Corridor Demonstration Project. The project aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of best practices in road safety, in the road developed under Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP). Apart from curves, embankments which have a level difference of a metre or more than the surroundings will get crash barriers.

Road safety expert Upendra Narayan, who founded Indian Institute of Road Safety, said the unique terrain of Kerala needs extensive use of such guard rails (also called crash barriers). "Care must be taken to provide the mandatory deep foundation and proper concreting, to ensure that they can absorb the impact of vehicles. Such infra at the notorious Vattapara curve in Malappuram could have prevented a lorry falling off the road, a month ago."

While offering his services to KRSA, MVD, PWD and other agencies, Mr Narayan - a former car-racing driver who was associated with many accident-prevention initiatives in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, spoke of how field-level experts must be consulted while readying accident-mitigation plans.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 10:30:43 AM |

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