EDt?oB Maurice A. Smlth D.F.c. TEOHr{teAL EDITOn Harry Mundy A.Iyl.l.U.oh.E..m.3.A.E.rU.8.ltr. SPoRTa EDTToB Peter Garnier AaaraTANT EDlToRa Leonard A. Ayton, Ronald Barker iItDLAND EDTTOII Edward Eves aRT EDt?oR Howard VyB€


rurAHAolNo DTREoToR H. N. Prlaulx m.a.e.

Motorway Barriers H

AVE you seen those ugly cubes of sacking strung on poles in the cenral dividing suip of Ml? They are, of course, temporary anridazzle screens to help $e Ministry of Transpon decide what permanerrt measure is noedd, if any. Resumably authorities in America and Europe have come to some conclusions about.this matter already but, rf so, we have not soen any feports.

C,onditions vary-American motorways are speed limited, many European ones have only two lanes each wan in sorne cases the roads are quite widely separated aad dre cenEal strip carries natural bushes and treesbut the problems and needs are broadly the same.

Drivers do require plenty of spread a.d range of liglrt to see well enough to drive fast with safety, aruC dazzle from headlunp main bearns can be considerable on motorways. Some consideration should also be given to the drivers ahead as well as those in the oppoaing carriageways oow *rat cars do not have rear window blirrCs. The moving shadows cast by bridge piers, silhouetted by oncuning lights, can be confusing and disconcerting.

Tlre question of anti-dazzle screens is obviously allied with that of crash bariers---<an one screen do both ioibs?-and looming over such th<iughts is ahrays the question of the cost ttut migfit be involved.

Autocor has some definite views about provisions for uight driving oo motorways aod has others still under coosideration. Ve think there is a case to be made for a cootinuous anti-dazzle bamier, perhaps in the form of a continuous line of bushes and shrubs, but there is much less call for a continuous crash barrier. For a start, however, the long curyes might be tackled because theirs is a special dazzle problem.

The better a road is defined, the less the need for rnain headlamp b€arns. Various schemes are used abroad, of which the regularly spaced posts carrying reflectors ard angled sligttly towards the road are perhaps best. These nerd to be so desiped as to keep reaaooably clean . If the off-side edges of Ml were more clearly d€6!€d and the wholc rmd surface qrere light in colout, night driving would be made easier. Notice thc difference on a dark wet night wheo you run off a shiny black r@d surfacc surface oD to a rnatt

" white " one. The edges or verges of Ml are a muddy mess and it is < rften rlif6cult to tell where road ends and earth or grass begios. Drivers naturally pile ou the light to try to see better.

One side effect of the cubes of sacking and of thc existing sections of. ani-dazile fence is to gtve a greater impression of speed to thos€ in the fast lane when close beside them. This tends to eocourage drivers to travel a little slower.

One thirg we must not have is intermittent antidazzle protection. Nothing is more tiring than a flashing light of the kird received whea a row of trees or bushes stands between a driver and a source of bright light.

Anyone who has seen some of the terrifying films of full-scale tests of crash barriers made in the U.S.,t will know how imponant it is that these are properly designed. Poor derigns can cause vehicles to iump or somerrault into th€ oncoming trafrc or roll back acf,oss the lanes on their own side. The ideal seems to be that the barrier should hold down thc vehicle and bring it quickly to a standstill along and in contact with the rail or fence.


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