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  • The road to safety

Fabric of Life: ArcelorMittal steel barriers save two motorcyclists’ lives in Czech Republic

In 2013, ArcelorMittal installed free of charge special safety barriers for better protection of motorcyclists at a 142-metre-long test stretch of road in Šebrov in the Blansko district. This motorcyclist-friendly safety barrier equipped with the lower guard strip saved two motorcyclists who had a crash at this place from severe injuries. Both motorcyclists – a man and a woman – survived the accident with minor injuries. 

Recently, ArcelorMittal has supplied another 1,600 m of motorcyclist-friendly safety barriers for the first commercial installation in the Czech Republic. “Šebrov in Southern Moravia is a favourite place for motorcyclists because of the many turns and beautiful countryside. Unfortunately, in the past number of them suffered severe injuries during accidents due to hitting the posts of the safety barriers and one of the accidents even ended with a fatal injury. After the installation of this special safety barrier in one of the dangerous turns we had one traffic accident of two motorcyclists here who came out with minor injuries,” says Martin Zajíček, Chief of the Traffic Authorities of the Local Police Department in Blansko.

At the beginning of November and after the testing section in Šebrov, this innovative safety barrier was installed to protect a 1,600-metre-long stretch of the road between Ústí nad Orlicí and Andrlův Chlum in the Pardubice Region. This is currently the longest section of the road protected by the first approved safety barrier system protecting motorcyclists in the Czech Republic. The installation of the safety barriers in Ústí nad Orlicí is being carried out by ArcelorMittal in cooperation with the Pardubice Region Road Administration and Maintenance Authorities. The project is financed by the Pardubice Region and implemented by a company named Značky Morava. Further installation of the special safety barriers in other parts of the country is on the way.

“Special motorcyclist-friendly safety barriers are gradually coming to Czech roads. It is a step towards increasing road safety and fulfilling the Vision Zero. The safety barrier system that we were developing since 2008 will help mitigate or even eliminate the consequences of accidents of motorcyclists that often result in serious or even fatal injuries,” says Richard Toman, Head of the Mine Supports and Safety Barriers Department at ArcelorMittal.

In case of an accident, the safety barrier equipped with the lower guard strip will prevent ‘under-riding’ of the motorcyclist below the safety barrier, which is often a cause of many serious injuries. At the same time it will reduce the negative impacts of collision of a person with the post or other uncovered parts of safety barriers during accidents.

ArcelorMittal, who has been the only manufacturer of safety barriers in the Czech Republic since 1969, used its long experience for the development of the safety barrier designated as JSAM-M/H1. The company designed appropriate shapes for the lower guard strip and spacing components to accompany the standard-type road restraint system. The development and manufacturing of the motorcyclist-friendly safety barrier was followed by a successful crash testing, certification and approving of the road restraint system by the Ministry of Transportation of the Czech Republic for use on the Czech roads and motorways.

Safer, lighter, cheaper

When developing individual parts of the safety barrier ArcelorMittal used micro-alloyed steel grades S420MC and S355MC. Thanks to them we managed to reduce the weight of our restraint systems by 29-40% according to the type of the system, in comparison with the originally used steel grade S355JR. Compared to the old NH4 product line-up the new ArcelorMittal safety barriers are thus safer, lighter and cheaper.

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Pictures: ECHOpix