SAFETY SOLUTIONS TO REDUCE ROAD CASUALTIES

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Vehicle collisions with rigid roadside furniture, such as traffic signals,
lighting columns and sign posts, were responsible for almost a fifth of
fatalities on Britain’s roads last year.

Add to that the number of vehicles caught up in the aftermath of a fatal or
serious accident – and the delays that can result for example – and it’s
easy to see why local authorities are turning their attention to alternative
solutions.

Highway providers have little or no influence on the human element of
driving and the litany of reasons why road users collide with each other
and/or roadside features. However, careful expenditure on replacing and
rethinking critical pieces of hardware does make a significant impact on
those all-important regional road safety statistics.

The Government has pledged to play an effective part in addressing the
difficult challenges of motoring in the 21st century, investing £1.5m to
promote UK road safety, including promotion of user-friendly crash barriers
and a variety of junction improvements. With legislation now in place, it is
now extremely prudent for local authorities to consider passive safety
reviews of all new and refurbished sites on their networks in order to meet
future road safety targets and keep their future maintenance costs as low as
possible.

Many companies gearing up to back a safer future for Britain are signing up
for Seeing is Believing, a one-off opportunity to showcase the latest
technologies in action at the MIRA Proving Grounds, Warwickshire.

The three-day event is a unique opportunity for civil engineers, architects
and those with the purchasing power in local authorities to see the latest
products in action, in a real-life working environment on an outdoor track,
in a range of lighting and weather conditions – both by day and by night.

A range of passively safe columns and signposts – those which collapse upon
impact – by companies such as TMP Ltd will be put on show, along with
shatter-resistant signage and new non-reflective coatings.

The exhibition offers a unique ‘try-before-you-buy’ facility to local,
regional and national managers of the UK highways network. Key suppliers to
the highways industry, including Platinum sponsor Rennicks UK, are already
signed up, along with 10 of the leading institutes and associations in the
industry.

Organiser Neil Levett, said: “Reducing the accident rate on Britain’s roads
is always of paramount importance so we are delighted that Britain’s premier
product developers have already signed up to join us and demonstrate the
latest roadside furniture and signage.”

An innovative exhibition, Seeing is Believing is answering the need for an
event where local authorities, utility companies and others involved in
highway related activities can see the latest solutions in action. It proved
so successful that 98% of the 2008 exit poll said they would be back this
year and visitors will be able to network, listen to keynote speakers and,
crucially, see products at work in a range of conditions.

Neil Levett said: “Seeing is Believing is the only opportunity in the UK for
visitors to see real, working, highway-related products in their real,
working environments. It’s a great way to promote products as well as being
an interesting and informal opportunity to network with like-minded people
and to find out more about new products and initiatives in the highways
industry.”