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26 September 2005

Mott MacDonald supports passively safe sign crash test

Mott MacDonald teamed up with Signpost Solutions (SignFix), distributors of Lattix passively safe signposts, on the 22nd September to demonstrate in a film for Channel 5’s Fifth Gear, how passively safe signposts can save lives.

The test involved a remote controlled car crashing into a traditional road traffic sign at 100kph (60 miles per hour) and a car driven at the same speed by a professional stunt driver crashing into a Lattix passively safe signpost.

The demonstration took place at Santa Pod Racing Course in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire and is due to be aired in October 2005. It was attended by key representatives from the Highways Agency as well as the Norwegian inventor of Lattix, Kim Heglund.

Andy Pledge, the Mott MacDonald consultant who approached the Highways Agency to adopt Lattix signposts on some of the UK’s highways said, “The aim of the activity is to raise awareness of the benefits of passive safety among both professionals in the industry involved in shaping the future of highways as well as the general public.

The tests were a successful illustration of how passive safety can save lives. In addition to the potential internal injuries that probably would have been caused by the impact of hitting the traditional steel road signpost as the car rotated and somersaulted onto its roof, the effect on the passenger compartment itself had the potential to cause further head and leg injuries.

In stark comparison, the second car remained upright, on course and only moments after the collision into the passively safe signpost, the stunt driver emerged, not only completely unscathed, but carried out an interview with the film crew testifying how safe the passively safe signposts are.”


Note to editors
Andy Pledge, Head of Traffic Management at Mott MacDonald, recognised the innovative safety concepts associated with Lattix, a product that would crush and yield when impacted upon in a collision, dramatically reducing the likelihood of injury to vehicle occupants.

He proposed its widespread use on the A43 Towcester By Pass where the company was appointed as design consultant. Working with Lattix manufacturer, Juralco AS of Norway and the UK distributor, Signpost Solutions (Signfix), Mott MacDonald prepared a strong safety and commercial argument for the product’s inclusion within the project to provide passively safe supports to road signs. The Highways Agency supported his proposal and the Lattix Mast has been approved for use by the Agency.

This new approach is influencing the design of road signs across the UK highways and so far the evidence is demonstrating that the new signs work.
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