Selected SLC Research


Policy Analysis | October 29, 2014

SLC State Actions on Suspect Guardrails

Sujit CanagaRetna

Over a dozen states, including five states (Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Texas and Virginia) belonging to the Southern Office of The Council of State Governments (CSG), the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC), have recently banned the use of the ET-Plus rail head, the flat piece of steel at the front of a guardrail that is meant to glide along the rail on impact and push the railing safely out of the way from a vehicle. Transportation experts have concluded that the rail heads could possibly contain a dangerous defect that could lead them to jam, causing guardrails to pierce vehicles.

For additional details on state actions related to these suspect guardrails, please see the following:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/28/business/virginia-plans-to-remove-suspect-guardrail-parts.html?_r=1
http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/roadway_dept/policy_guide/road_hardware/memo_eplus_wbeam101014.pdf