UK-based highway safety and mobile traffic product supplier Highway Care has launched two new open source safety initiatives; one to keep road workers safe behind barriers in roadwork areas, and the other to remind drivers to keep a safe distance from the car in front to avoid tailgating.
To support Highways England’s (HE) ‘Space Invader’ campaign to reduce tailgating on motorways, Highway Care has introduced reflective indicators that attach to safety barriers in roadworks areas that show motorists the recommended two-second gap at 50mph (80km/h). This is in response to a survey that suggests one in five people admit to driving too close to the car in front in road work zones. The reflective indicator simply attaches to the company’s BG800 Temporary Steel Barrier every 157 feet (48m). These can be promoted to drivers at the start of the roadworks zone using mobile variable message signs (VMS) from signage supplier Rennicks, and during the closure, drivers travelling too close will be reminded to pull back by another VMS showing their number plate. The system is even able to recognize foreign plates, and the warning will be displayed in the language of the vehicle’s origin country. Although the initial installation has been on the BG800 temporary barrier, the solution can be used on barriers from any manufacturer.
T make roadworkers safer behind the barriers, Highway Care has also introduced a system to advise workers of deflection distances from barriers when they are hit by a vehicle. Deflection distances vary depending on the manufacturer, and roadworkers will not necessarily know which type of barrier is protecting them, and therefore where the safe distance to work begins. The company has developed a color-coded reminder fixed to the back of all barriers indicating deflection area, backed up colored road studs from the WJ Group that are placed on the ground at the edge of the deflection area. These open source solutions can also be used with any manufacturer’s products. Both initiatives have been extremely well received by highways contractor Aone +, which has been trialing them on HE’s A27 road improvement project near Worthing.