Arizona testing reflective barriers on freeways to prevent accidents

| 8/15/2005

The Arizona Department of Transportation is hoping to shed a little light on the problem of drivers hitting cable barriers in the medians of its freeways.

The $20 million cable project, which has seen 138 miles of barriers installed, has a flaw – drivers don’t seem to be able to see them, KVOA-TV reported.

Because of this, state officials are spending significant amounts of money – up to $1,500 for every cable/vehicle incident – to repair the safety devices.

But now, ADOT is testing more reflective materials on the cables on a mile of freeway on Loop 101 near Indian School Road, to see if vehicles are more likely to avoid the dividers if they can see them better.

“It’s not necessarily a test of the cable barriers,” Doug Nintzel, a spokesperson for ADOT, told the Arizona Republic. “It’s more of a test of driver behavior. We’re going to see if an increase in the visibility might keep more drivers from running into them.”