FHWA Announces Changes to Improve Roadside Safety Hardware
WASHINGTON – In remarks made at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) 2015 Spring Meeting in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on Friday, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Acting Administrator Gregory Nadeau announced a series of actions that will apply to the reimbursement eligibility process for states purchasing and installing guardrails, their components and other devices. FHWA is accelerating the transition to the latest crash test criteria for road safety hardware. Specifically, beginning on January 1, 2016, any proposed modification to a roadside safety device will require meeting full-scale crash test criteria outlined under AASHTO’s Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware, even if the device was previously tested and met National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report 350 criteria.
“Our goal is to make our roads, bridges and highways as safe as possible, in part by accelerating the move to the newer crash test criteria,” Nadeau said.
FHWA is also increasing transparency in its process for determining whether a specific device is eligible for federal reimbursement. In a letter to industry and other stakeholders, FHWA announced that it will require manufacturers and test labs to disclose all financial interests. FHWA has also recently commissioned an independent end-to-end review of the entire roadside safety hardware process from development and testing through field performance.
FHWA’s notice can be viewed at http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/public-inspection/.