While the EN 1317 for Vehicle Restraint Systems (Safety Barriers) guarantees common testing methods for RRS across EU Member States, it is up to national governments to decide the level of protection on their road network. As a result, European drivers are confronted with varying levels of RRS protection on the European motorway network despite the fact that speed limits and driving conditions are very similar.
Research with the ERF Working Group on Road Restraint Systems has revealed striking differences between countries. For example, for side barriers on motorways, the French authorities require an N2 barrier designed to withstand a collision of 1,5 tonne passenger car travelling at 110km, whereas the major part of the other EU authorities require an H2 level, which means a barrier designed to safely redirect a bus of 13 tonne!
The following tables provide a brief graphical representation of the different containment levels as well as an overview of the situation in selected European countries.
In this context, the ERF calls on the Commission to examine the introduction of a minimum EU-wide RRS protection across the Trans European Network establishing a minimum safety level to achieve on the most important European road resource.