Thu, Sep 07, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Roadworks warnings on freeways to be enhanced

WARNING SIGNS:Signals that can be transferred to all freeway construction sites, rather than used only at specific zones, might be implemented, the bureau said

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Forward collision warning facilities are to be upgraded to reduce the risk of death or injury at freeway construction sites, the National Freeway Bureau said.

The bureau announced a series of safety measures following a Chinese-language United Daily News report on Monday that said in the past 10 years 43 people have been killed in accidents involving freeway construction sites.

Speeding accounted for 30 of those deaths, the report said.

The bureau said it would increase the number of vehicles carrying traffic signs near roadworks to warn drivers and prevent vehicles from driving into construction zones.

If construction is underway on a freeway, two lanes will be closed to traffic, the bureau said.

Anti-collision barriers are be placed around short or medium-term freeway construction sites rather than cones, the bureau said.

Red-and-blue flashing lights are also to be placed at buffer zones to indicate to drivers that they are approaching a hazard, it added.

The bureau said that it is considering cantilever changeable message system vehicles to warn drivers of freeway construction.

Bureau Deputy Director-General Wu Mu-fu (吳木富) said crash cushion vehicles have only a limited effect because they can only be placed at specific locations.

“What we are building now is a well-round prevention mechanism that covers all construction sites, rather than solutions for specific locations,” he said.

Wu dismissed suggestions that the bureau did not allocate sufficient funds to prevent accidents in roadworks areas, adding that the budget is not the issue.

Safety measures must correspond with the duration of the construction, Wu said.

Bureau statistics showed that since 2011 there have been four accidents in which vehicles entered into construction sites and killed construction workers.

Four deadly accidents were caused by driver fatigued or drivers who failed to heed warning signals, the bureau said.

In all four cases, the bureau was found to have followed government regulations.

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