Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Road safety

I forgot to comment on the recent decision by the National Roads Authority to improve the crash barriers on the major roads. On the 9th of November, I noted that a small patch of grass and a bush did not constitute a real barrier to out-of-control cars heading towards the on-coming lanes. Eight days later the NRA announced that "all future motorways and dual carriageways will be fitted with crash barriers irrespective of the width of the central median". Such is the power of this blog.

However, the NRA's explanation for having to fit crash barriers on existing roads, included this bizarre statement:
The central reservation area enables the vast majority of drivers to regain control of their vehicles without loss of life or injury to themselves or others, or indeed, damage to vehicles. However, irresponsible driver behaviour, including so called "joy riding" incidents has left the NRA with no alternative but to extend the retrofit programme to all motorways and dual carriageways regardless of the median width.
I'm sure that if it wasn't for "irresponsible driver behaviour" we'd have nearly zero crashes in Ireland.

I accept their point that installing these barriers will divert money from other road safety upgrades. That doesn't change the fact that at one time someone in their organization thought bushes would suffice. Why?

They're blaming irresponsible drivers for what is essentially a failure of forethought on their part.