New Road Standard, MASH, may save your life. Safe Direction leads industry in adopting change.
History tells us that progressive implementation and modernisation of standards and laws governing the usage and environment of our nation’s roads has led to dramatic reductions in our road toll. Notable developments such as compulsory wearing of seat belts and bike helmets, the introduction of random breath testing, speed cameras, crumple zones in vehicles, vibration line marking, etc are just a small example of positive change.
Our nation’s state road authorities under the guiding direction set by AustRoads has now embarked on a new program called MASH that is set to be a step-change in delivering a safer engineered road environment through a suite of new road barrier systems to be installed on our roads.
The rollout of MASH for roadside crash barriers will ensure greater containment capacity to safely redirect and/or arrest errant vehicles to a safe stop. This is the start of a remarkable enhancement to the safety of our roads that will be instrumental in reducing road fatalities and trauma.
MASH is an acronym for the Manual of Assessing Safety Hardware and was set as the performance criteria in the recent publication of the updated Australian Standard for road safety barriers. MASH prescribes a stringent set of crash tests to validate barrier systems before they can be approved for use on our road networks.
Barriers tested to MASH will supersede those developed under preceding dated standards originally set in the early 1990s as well as replace the wide use of public domain systems that have not been demonstrated to meet any internationally recognised performance standard.
The MASH performance criteria ensures road barriers are being developed with proven capacity to manage our contemporary vehicle fleet that has significantly changed since the early ’90s with the increase in the mass and centre of gravity of commuter vehicles. Moreover, MASH also addresses known vulnerabilities in preceding standards ensuring that new barrier systems cater for a wider set of runoff impacts and that the barrier systems themselves are proven to work in varied temperature environments and function effectively independent of their installation length.
Safe Direction is the first Australian company to stock and offer an approved end to end fully MASH compliant steel beam guardrail system. The Safe Direction system comprises of RamShield guardrail barrier terminated at each end of an installation with MSKT guardrail end terminals.
The RamShield system has demonstrated its MASH compliance through a finished height installation range from 730mm to 820m. This makes the RamShield system particularly suitable for road shoulders of undulating grade and capable of accommodating future road overlays thereby providing not just one of the safest barriers available for installation on our road network but also an economic and durable solution. Moreover, RamShield has also demonstrated MASH compliance in transition to the MSKT terminal as well as compliance with the addition of an under run rail to shield fallen motorcyclists from support posts.
Terminations to barrier systems is the impact zone that poses the most risk to motorists. Current systems widely still in use on our nation’s roads threaten the spearing of a colliding vehicle as well as having a very limited capacity to safely redirect them.
Safe Direction’s MSKT sets a new standard for guardrail end terminals and is currently the only MASH compliant terminal approved for use by state road authorities in Australia. The MSKT performs significantly within compliance threshold limits of the MASH performance criteria and is a comparative standout to other terminals that cannot match it for stability and safe redirection of colliding vehicles. Furthermore, the MSKT has demonstrated in testing an amazing ability to prevent the spearing or rail penetration into vehicles of varied mass and at varying impact angles collectively designed to model typical real-life impacts.
You can learn more about this important change to the barrier standard and changes to road agency specifications by contacting Safe Direction or visiting safedirection.com.au. State road authority calendars and guidance for implementation are provided with the following links: