The upgrading programme for safety barriers along major highways in Qatar has led to the “extraordinary” reduction of traffic accident deaths in the last six years, according to an expert.
Speaking at Qatar Transport Safety Forum on Monday, Bernd Wolfgang Wink, senior manager, International Division at Volkmann & Rossbach Germany, said Qatar has made “extraordinary progress” in roadside and median safety after authorities upgraded safety barriers, otherwise referred to as vehicle restraint systems (VRS).
In 2009, Wink pointed out that statistics showed high road accident frequency and fatalities, but in the same year, Wink said authorities concerned like Ashghal decided to implement a VRS upgrading programme in Qatar.
Citing the Al Shamal Road Main Carriageway and side roads, Wink said: “This programme was based predominantly on the EU Performance Standard EN 1317 with minimum containment levels in median (H2) and lateral (H1), according to EN 1317 (Part 2) and the installation guidelines (RPS) coming from Germany, but widely applied in the EU region and other parts of the world.”
“For specialists, these are important because they are directly comparable to the highest levels in the world for road protection using VRS. With this […] Qatar has decided for the highest level in the world by installing VRS or safety barriers,” Wink further explained.
He also said other ongoing application of “high-level” and “efficient” VRS on Qatar road projects include the Al Huwailah Link Road, Al Khor Link Road, and the Umm Bikrah Link Road.
“The main target to improve significantly road safety by reduction of fatalities and serious injuries is to avoid, by all means, vehicle crashes to rigid objects alongside or in median of our roads,” Wink stressed.
He added: “Today, Qatar’s road network in terms of the level of the VRS application are at par with countries with the highest performance on a global scale. The ability of Qatar authorities to build new roads is giving them the advantage to demonstrate much better than any Western country in terms of the high level of safety by the application of suitable safety barriers.”
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