There are times where cables might have to be cut in order to ensure the safety of emergency services or occupants of vehicles involved in accidents etc. Cutting cable is completely nonspectacular and completely safe - if performed correctly.
Always use appropriate protective equipment such as helmet, goggles, safety clothes and gloves etc.
Always only cut cables in an undamaged area of the barrier - between two undamaged posts. Never consider cutting a cable in the actual area where the accident occured - it is essential to perform this on a straight and undamaged part of the system. Again, cutting cable is completely nonspectacular and completely safe - if performed correctly.
If the situation allows for it, it will allow for an easier re-installation if the turnbuckle is cut rather than the cable. A turnbuckle is simply replaced and cables are retensioned whilst a cut cable imply the need of swaging a section of new cables.
Cables will separate straight towards each end anchor. It is essential to secure the area around cables so that there is no people present. Behind the cutting operator is the safest area available.