OREANDA-NEWS. December 06, 2013. ArcelorMittal Ostrava has developed special safety barriers that help better protect motorcyclists in the event of an accident.

The new steel barrier has now been installed for the first time, in a test area in the Czech municipality of Sebrov, Blansko district. With a lower guard strip compared with traditional barriers, the new barriers are the first to be certified against ‘under-riding’ – a major cause of injuries and fatalities among motorcyclists involved in road accidents.

ArcelorMittal Ostrava has developed, tested and installed the safety barriers, called JSAM-M/H1, free of charge - as part of its commitment to protecting and improving the lives of people in the communities close to ArcelorMittal sites.

"The new barriers, with a lower guard strip, prevent motorcyclists from going underneath the restraint system, which is currently the cause of many serious injuries. At the same time, they mitigate the impact on motorcyclists hitting the barrier during an accident," said Richard Toman, responsible for the production of safety barriers at ArcelorMittal Ostrava. ArcelorMittal's new safety barrier is the first and currently the only certified restraint system with a lower strip to be in use on Czech roads.

The new safety barriers were developed following research and development activities carried out to develop the so-called ‘smart road restraint system’ which uses sensors to record accidents - a project which has received funding from the EU. ArcelorMittal Ostrava was actively involved in the development of this system between 2008 and 2012, and has built on this work to produce the new safety barrier in use today. In cooperation with the University of Zaragoza, Spain, suitable shapes for the lower strip were designed and testing using a computer simulation to assess the impact of a motorcyclist hitting the barrier. "Using the results of the simulation, we developed and started producing a prototype barrier, which underwent laboratory testing and crash tests in Spain," Toman added.

Development of the new restraint system took two months at ArcelorMittal Ostrava, and was followed by successful crash tests and certification by the Czech Republic’s Directorate of Roads and Highways and the Ministry of Transport. The restraint system has now been installed in collaboration with the local police department on a 142m-long stretch in Sebrov, in the district of Blansko. The local Transport Research Centre further equipped the barriers with reflective strips and reflectors.

“An accident with tragic consequences happened to a motorcyclist in Sebrov in 2010. He died from his injuries after hitting against the post of the safety barrier. I hope that the new safety barrier in this area is just the beginning for improved protection of motorcyclists on the Czech roads,” said Iva Sebkova, spokeswoman of the Police of the Czech Republic, department of Blansko-Vyskov.

The new restraint system was launched in Prague today. The event was attended by representatives of ArcelorMittal Ostrava, the Czech Ministry of Transport, the Motorcycle Association of the Czech Republic, the Transport Research Centre and the Police department of Blansko. " I am glad that the first step has been taken to protect motorcyclists on Czech roads from serious injuries and potential death," said Jaromir Sid, president of the Motorcycle Association of the Czech Republic.

ArcelorMittal Ostrava is the largest steelmaker in the Czech Republic, with an annual production capacity of 3 million tonnes of steel.