The first of a series of countrywide workshops on Engineering for Road Safety was hosted by the SARF Northern Region Road Safety Committee Chaired by Gail Bester of SANRAL on the 29th July at the Kempton Park Town Hall.
The workshops are a joint initiative between the SARF and SANRAL, aimed at highlighting how engineering can play a much more important role in road safety in South Africa. The theme of using SANS standards for Safer Roads led to some very interesting and thought-provoking presentations given to the audience by experts who are intimately involved in the roads industry.
Vusi Tshabangu the Chair of the Northern Region of the SARF welcomed 229 people to the workshop. The SARF had fully sponsored the event, with the aim of giving back to members. Gail Bester, Chair of the SARF Northern Region Road Safety Committee, then introduced the aims of the workshop.
Ismail Essa Regional Manager of SANRAL’s Northern Region commenced the proceedings by talking about SANS standards and how they can assist with road safety. He pointed out how engineering had contributed to improving road safety in terms of the Decade of Action
Rajan Padavattan of Nyeleti Consulting introduced everyone to the history of EU and US standards and their relevance in South Africa. He showed how from the 1930’s to today, crash tests are on-going in order to improve the safety standards of vehicle restraint systems and that although we have SANS 51317 as a national standard, we should not forget about the NCHRP systems.
This topic was followed by a presentation by Hennie Kotze of SANRAL. He gave a very impassioned talk on Temporary Vehicle Restraint systems and showed why only crash tested system should be used. The content of this section of the programme opened the eyes of those present to the dangers of using barriers in ways other than tested.
Edwin Kruger of SANRAL gave a very interesting and thought provoking presentation on Permanent Vehicle Restraint Systems. He posed questions relating to the way forward and designing for road safety based on research. Kruger concluded that South Africa needs to develop its own researched and documented manuals.
Ismail Essa of SANRAL closed out the morning session on Vehicle Restraint Systems by talking about other types of systems. He reminded the audience that attention needs to be given to phasing out some of the older engineering installations which have passed their sell by date. There is a pressing need to replace these with modern tested system
Garry Savill of the SARTSMA began the session on SANS 1519 parts 1 and 2 roads signs and road markings with a very interesting and eye-opening presentation on the Science of Reflectivity.
This was followed by Andre Fabricius of Anfab Consulting who took a novel approach complete with videos to illustrate the importance of correct signage. He introduced the delegates to the correct use of signs for Temporary Road Works (SARTSM Vol 2 Chapter 13 Road Works Signing) as well as Permanent Signage from the SADC Road Traffic Signs Manual.
Marshall Muten of SANRAL took the graveyard session and was able to make Road Markings from SANS 731 an interesting topic to keep those present seated to appreciate his talk on Performance-Based Road Markings, Road Studs and Delineation.
Basil Jonsson, Operations Director from SARF, summed up the day’s proceedings. He indicated that following the workshops in the other three SARF / SANRAL regions, the presentations and recommendations will be posted on the SARF website.