In a first use of the system in the state of Western Australian, Main Roads WA will trial the use of a roller safety barrier on a Murdoch Drive Connection ramp connecting Roe Highway to Kwinana Freeway northbound in Perth’s south-western suburbs.
Main Roads WA says the roller safety barrier provides better impact protection for high speed and heavy vehicle crashes by absorbing shock and converting it into rotational energy. The new safety feature is built from vertical steel poles supporting a series of plastic rollers over a distance of 197 feet (60m). In the event of a run-off crash, the reduction of direct impact is a key factor in minimizing driver and passenger fatalities. The barrier’s bright yellow rollers also visually stand out to alert drivers of the curved ramp ahead.
The safety barriers have been used successfully overseas and Perth’s first deployment of the system has been refined and enhanced for local conditions by Geraldton-based firm Mid-West Traffic Controllers. The new barriers will be highly-visible to Perth motorists on the high-speed curve where traffic heading from Roe Highway to Kwinana Freeway northbound shifts onto the new bridge over Kwinana Freeway to access the new northbound freeway ramp. As part of the Perth safety initiative, Main Roads WA will monitor performance of the new barrier system before potentially expanding its use to other locations across the state.
“This type of design clearly provides greater visibility for drivers as they approach and negotiate a curve in the road,” said Western Australia’s Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti. “A barrier installed by the Geraldton-based company at a notorious crash location in Victoria has reduced the number of crash impacts dramatically, due to its heightened visual presence. In the Victorian case, there was evidence that a driver walked away after colliding with the barrier at high speed. 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.”