LTA to Test New Guardrails in a Bid to Improve Road Safety

Published by on . Updated on 18 May 2020

Rolling Barrier(Photo Credit: Straits Times)

The new guardrails, called rolling barriers, are being installed on a stretch of an expressway to be tested.

These new guardrails, which are over 20 metres in length, were recently installed on the slip road near the start of the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) towards Woodlands.

Installed on the road shoulder, these new guardrails are common sights in other countries like Malaysia, Australia and the United States.

Bernard Tay, chairman of the Singapore Road Safety Council, told the Straits Times that these new guardrails are better than the standard ones at absorbing impact from a crash.

Mr Tay said, “it behaves like a shock absorber”, adding that, “unlike conventional metal barriers, this system absorbs the (crash) impact and deflects it, making it safer for the driver and reduces the likelihood of a vehicle crashing through the barrier”.

According to the Straits Times, these guardrails are new in Singapore, and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will give more details about them soon.

Some markers have been found on the guardrails, identifying its manufacturers as a South Korean company called Evolution in Traffic Innovation. The new rolling barrier system of guardrails works by converting the shockwaves to rotational energy when a vehicle hits them.

Besides absorbing the impact, the guardrail also edges the crashed vehicle away from the impact area. This system has been theorised to help prevent subsequent rear-end collisions from other vehicles. However, the crashed vehicle’s size and speed may affect the performance of the safety barrier.

The new guardrails have been reported to be expensive. Sources put the cost of installing a metre of the guardrail system between US$300 (S$414) and US$400 (S$553). However, the cost of maintaining such guardrails is said to be low, with only damaged rollers needing to be replaced after a crash.

Regardless, the price is a small one to pay, according to Mr Tay.

Mr Tay said, “it's a good thing that LTA is making an effort to put in new innovation,” adding that, “hopefully it (the rolling barrier system) saves more lives and reduces the injury to motorists.”

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