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New crash barrier could cut deaths

ROAD CASUALTIES could be dramatically reduced if a newly patented form of concrete crash barrier passes through the approvals process.

Around 40 people are killed each year when steel crash barriers fail to stop vehicles from smashing through them and into oncoming traffic.

The new barrier, invented by civil engineer Iain Thomson, is designed to prevent vehicles from rebounding back into traffic if they stray into the central reservation. It also prevents them from colliding with oncoming traffic and is claimed to be more cost effective than existing concrete barriers.

Thomson is now looking for a manufacturer to build a trial length for testing at transport research body TRL.

At 850mm high it is no taller than existing concrete barriers but stands behind a 500mm wide 400mm deep channel. This is designed to trap a vehicle's offside wheels, preventing it from rebounding.

The barrier wall will slope inwards from top to bottom on a 10degrees incline, to encourage straying vehicles to drop into the channel. A similar taper on the channel face is also intended to hold wheels of highsided vehicles in position, stopping them from toppling over.

INFOPLUS iathomson@aol.


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