Prime Mover Magazine

WA debuts rolling crash barrier for heavy vehicles

The Murdoch Drive Connection project will trial a roller safety barrier for high speed and heavy vehicle crashes as part of a first for Western Australia.

Main Roads WA will evaluate the safety technology from Geraldton-based firm Mid-West Traffic Controllers which is built from vertical steel poles supporting a series of plastic rollers over a distance of 60 metres.

Enhanced for local conditions, the roller safety barrier provides better impact protection as it absorbs shock and converts it into rotational energy.

In the event of a run-off crash, the reduction of direct impact, the WA Government claims, is a key factor in minimising driver and passenger fatalities.

Bright yellow rollers on the barrier visually stand out to alert drivers of the curved ramp ahead.

The safety barriers have been used successfully overseas.

Main Roads WA are monitoring the performance of the new barrier on a Murdoch Drive Connection ramp connecting Roe Highway to the Kwinana Freeway northbound before expanding its use.

According to WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti a similar barrier installed at a notorious crash location in Victoria has reduced the number of crash impacts dramatically.

"In the Victorian case, there was evidence that a driver walked away after colliding with the barrier at high speed," she said.

"Main Roads will monitor the performance of the roller barrier and may install further barriers of this type on the State's road network where appropriate."

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