Latest addition to the European EN 1317-5 is snowplough classifications. Unfortunately it is embraced at the expense of traffic safety and the amount of lives saved.
In Sweden, the new snowplough classification system more or less dismiss cable barriers from being installed on larger roads at the moment.
Although, reality is something completely different. A detailed study of snowy areas of Sweden shows no snowplough issues. Barriers are very rarely hit by ploughs due to the high level of skill of these drivers. Should it happen, the barrier is very quickly repaired - resulting in the fact that this extra cost is already included in the life-cycle costs analysis of the product.
Other barriers however, such as steel beam barriers, are often more exposed to snowplough deformation due to the fact that most people might mistakenly believe that these barriers can stand a lot more flaws and damage without worries. However, a misshapen steel beam will gradually lose its energy absorbing properties. In the end, more often than not, steel beam barriers are often in the need of full replacement prematurely - at the expense of the road safety budget.
- Snowplough aspects is a non-question in regard to median barriers on road which are ploughed to the far side.
- Slope barriers should be the preferred option due to its space increasing installation features - creating more room for snow.
- Priority should lay with the barriers ability to allow for snow removal - not its ability to withstand snowplough collisions. A cable barrier allow for snow to be thrown through the cables - whilst other technologies often prevents snow removal.