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Wednesday , 22 May 2024

“Decade of Action” must also be a “Decade of Change”

The International Road Federation (IRF) has called for discontinuing the use of dangerous guardrail terminal treatments such as turned-down ends, fishtails and spoons which have been documented to cause unnecessary deaths and injuries. Studies have indicated that the turned down guardrail ends, which were introduced in the 1960s, increase the odds of a vehicle rolling over a railing significantly. Advances in guardrail manufacturing have resulted in guardrail terminals which reduce vehicle decelerations and avoid rolling. It has, in many cases, avoided serious injuries and death. But obsolete designs continue to be used worldwide causing avoidable casualties. To improve the situation, the IRF has proposed that only crashworthy terminals meeting NCHRP 350/MASH or EN 1317 testing standards be used. It has also recommended that blunt and turned-down ends be treated as roadside hazards in national road safety audit guidelines all over the world. One of the guidelines of the IRF is to observe the “UN Decade of Action for Road Safety” as the “UN Decade for Change” by having road authorities and design engineers recognise new technologies and use them in guardrail construction.

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