The new-style roadside barriers save lives. / sur

Andalucía to invest over 20 million euros in new, 'life-saving' roadside crash barriers

This is the latest section of an ongoing Junta scheme to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries in traffic accidents

JOSÉ LUIS PIEDRA Seville

The Junta de Andalucía is planning to spend 20.7 million euros on replacing roadside crash barriers to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries from accidents in the region. Figures show that a vehicle comes off the road in 40% of all traffic accidents in Andalucía.

The scheme to replace the roadside barriers with much safer ones has been under way since 2019 and so far they have been installed beside nearly 450 kilometres of the regions' roads. The plan is to continue this until 2025, and in this latest stage more than 370 additional kilometres will be fitted with these new barriers.

Of these, 227 kilometres of barriers will be replacements, and the rest will be completely new installations where the authorities believe they are needed for safety reasons.

The regional government says the scheme is costing more than originally expected, because the cost of the materials has risen.

Danger spots

These new ‘lifesaving’ barriers are placed where there is a potential danger for motorists, motorcyclists or cyclists, such as a steep slope at the side of a road, accesses to bridges or tunnels and where there are trees or buildings, to prevent anyone crashing into them.

They are also installed where roads have been resurfaced and the existing barriers have ended up lower than they should be.

Some of the barriers are to be replaced because the previous ones have deteriorated with age and are now less effective, or they have been damaged in an accident.

The regional Minister of Public Works, Marifrán Carazo, says it has been proven that these roadside barriers reduce the number of people who suffer serious injuries in traffic accidents. The number of those who suffer minor injuries is more or less constant, although last year it did go down compared with previous years.