Use of road restraint systems in Germany in the context of new European standards
Road restraint systems are categorized as building products and therefore subject to the Building Products Regulation on European level. This means that within the European Community they may only be offered or traded once usability has been proven. Proof of usability is considered to be adduced when a building product complies with the relevant requirements of a European standard or a European technical approval.
Standard safety barriers on a motorway in accordance with RPS 89 (left) and safety barriers made of steel as part of a structure in accordance with RPS 2009 (right)
For road restraint systems the relevant European standard is DIN EN 1317. This was harmonised on 01.01.2008 and had a transitional period of three years. Therefore since 01.01.2011 only CE marked road restraint systems (with the exception of products pursuant to Part 4 of DIN EN 1317) may be marketed in Europe.
The requirements of this European standard were taken into consideration by the Working Committee 3.7 of the German Road and Transportation Research Association (FGSV) in the development of new Guidelines for Passive Protection on Roads using Road Restraint Systems (RPS 2009) Vehicle Restraint Systems (RPS 2009).
Newly installed safety barriers made of steel and concrete with transition structure in accordance with RPS 09 (left) and use of a crash cushion in accordance with RPS 2009 (right)
The RPS 2009 regulates the use of road restraint systems on German roads, meaning under which conditions safety barriers, crash cushions, transition structures and terminals may be utilised for the protection against lane departure.
In addition to the RPS 2009 application, recommendations for road restraint systems were developed by a German “Bund-Länder-Committee“, which are intended to assist the Federal Transportation Departments with the implementation of the RPS 2009. The application recommendations show possible solutions which can be applied in the case of the regulations of the RPS 2009 not being fully adhered, for example necessary cuts in length of safety elements due to junctions.
Furthermore, BASt was commissioned by BMVBS to develop an approval process for use of road restraint systems on German roads. Obligatory criteria for vehicle restraint systems were defined, which allow use on German roads in accordance with RPS 2009. The criteria will be published in the near future.
Introduction of performance classes
The RPS 2009 no longer recommends safety barriers in particular, but rather determines system neutral requirements like performance classes for various application areas. These performance classes are defined in the European Requirement Standard and Testing Standard DIN EN 1317 "Road Restraint Systems".
Impact test TB 81 (38 ton truck, 20°, 65 km/h) of a safety barrier con-sisting of pre- cast concrete components on a bridge cap in accordance with DIN EN 1317
Manufacturers intending to market road restraint systems will have these tested according to the CEN Standard, in order to provide proof of performance in the event of impact of variable weight classes on their restraint systems.
To obtain a CE marking the manufacturer must have the product tested at a notified body (test laboratory) according to DIN EN 1317, establish a factory-owned production control and be monitored by a notified inspection body. Finally, with submission of all documents required under DIN EN 1317, the product will be licensed by a notified product certification body such as BASt (NB 0760).
Only after completion of this process and the issuance of the EC Certificate of Conformity by a notified product certification body may the manufacturer affix the CE marking on the product.