Guardrail and Barriers

Guardrail and Barriers

Guardrail

Roadway departure (RwD) crashes account for more than 50% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities. There are a number of reasons a driver may leave the travel lane (e.g., an avoidance maneuver, inattention or fatigue or traveling too fast for weather or geometric conditions). Over the past few decades, different engineering countermeasures have been proposed, implemented and tested by various state and local agencies to mitigate RwD crashes. Improving median or roadside barrier design is one of the most effective countermeasures available to reduce RwD fatal crashes.


These devices suffered damage to their reputation as life savers because of some isolated unfortunate incidents, however the safety benefits beyond any doubt have been proven by numerous research studies. At this juncture, the life-saving qualities of roadside guardrails and median barriers need to be underscored.


ATSSA has a committee dedicated to the advancement of guardrails. The Association’s Guardrail Committee (member login required) works to preserve funding through the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), a federal program which dedicates funds to infrastructure safety, promote a fully funded Highway Trust Fund (HTF) and other funding opportunities, work with ATSSA chapters and members to develop and deliver government relations services at the state level, encourage members to utilize these services and educate the administration on roadway safety infrastructure.

Resources

Pam

FHWA issues letter to clarify eligibility process for cable barrier systems

Letter from the Office of Safety relates to the 2nd edition of MASH

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has issued a letter clarifying the process to obtain an eligibility letter for cable barrier systems.

The “open letter” from Michael S. Griffith, director of the Office of Safety Technologies in the Office of Safety, is addressed to members of the “highway safety hardware and roadside design community.”

“The FHWA’s Federal-aid eligibility letters are provided as a service to the States and are not a requirement for roadside safety hardware to be eligible for Federal-aid reimbursement” Griffith says in the letter.

He notes that the FHWA received questions about the eligibility letter over the past several months. The questions arose after FHWA’s Office of Safety modified the website for the letter to be consistent with the 2nd edition of the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH), which was issued in 2016 by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

Griffith’s letter states that anyone with questions or comments should contact Aimee Zhang in FHWA’s Office of Safety, Aimee.Zhang@dot.gov.

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