Open Source safety initiatives launched at Traffex 2019 by Highway Care
The highway safety and mobile traffic product supplier Highway Care is launching two products at Traffex 2019 to keep workers safe behind barriers in roadworks areas and remind drivers to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
To support Highways England’s “Space Invader” campaign to reduce tailgating on motorways, Highway Care is introducing reflective indicators on safety barriers in roadworks areas indicating the recommended two-second gap at 50 mph. This is in response to a survey which suggests one in five people admit to driving too close to the car in front in roadworks.
Working with Rennicks and Kier Highways, the reflective indicator simply attaches to Highway Care’s BG800 Temporary Steel Barrier every 48 metres. These will be promoted to drivers at the start of the roadworks zone using mobile variable message signs from 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 clever enough to recognise foreign plates, and the warning will be displayed in the language of the vehicle’s origin country.
Kier Highways is immediately reviewing contracts to identify a first site for this safety solution. Although the initial installation will be on the BG800 temporary barrier, the solution can be used on barriers from any manufacturer.
Meanwhile, to 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.
Highway Care has developed a colour-coded reminder fixed to the back of all barriers indicating deflection area, backed up coloured road studs from WJ Group which are placed on the ground at the edge of the deflection area. Again, these open source solutions can be used with any manufacturer’s products.
Ben Dunker, Commercial Director of Highway Care, the initiators of this concept, said: “Highway Care is delighted to have the opportunity to showcase this safety initiative, supporting one of Highways England’s public safety messages, whilst also having the opportunity to collaborate with a leading safety innovator in Rennicks UK and the UK’s leading road marking specialist in WJ Group. We have a long history in bringing safety innovations to the Highways market and we hope that these concepts will be widely received across industry providing another incremental improvement in safety for our road workers.”
Ross Bullerwell, MD of Rennicks UK, said: “Rennicks have safety at the heart of all our technological innovations. We are proud to collaborate with and support Highway Care on these initiatives. It’s a fantastic opportunity to push safety evolution on barriers, creating a safer environment for all on the Highways England Network.”
George Lee, Chief Executive, Highways Term Maintenance Association, said: “Safety and Collaboration sit at the heart of what HTMA is all about and, therefore, it is great to see these safety initiatives being driven by three HTMA member companies, bringing their different perspectives together to develop new but relatively straightforward approaches to enhancing road worker safety. The fact that these are ‘open source’ initiatives with anyone welcome to copy and adopt, without having to ‘buy in’ to someone’s system of product, not only serves to enhance the reputation of Highway Care, WJ and Rennicks but also that of the sector as a progressive environment for innovation and safety”
Martin Webb, Group Operations Director, WJ Group, said: “Often it’s about incremental steps and we are pleased to support any initiative that improves the safety of our workforce.”
Highway Care has partnered with Rennicks to provide the magnetic reflective vinyl signs and the colour coding index signs and WJ Group has supplied the temporary road studs.
Highway Care and Rennicks have chosen to use the Nikkalite® Dewtect DT 142-S Dew Resistant Sheeting reflective material for its self-cleaning properties in such a highly trafficked area with such close proximity to live traffic flow Statistics
A recent report from leading maintenance contractor Amey that found:
- 59% of road users acknowledged that they are not as safety-conscious as they should be when negotiating roadworks.
- 74% admitted to exceeding speed limits set to protect those working at these sites.
- 19% of drivers admitted not maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles.
- 14% of drivers said they did not pay attention to road workers.