Advancing Road Safety and Construction

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Life saving device installed in Papakura
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Council: Papakura District Council
Location: Hingaia Road, Papakura
Product: Raptor™ Utility Pole and Tree Protector

Papakura District Council is the first in New Zealand to adopt the new technology.
The world’s first safety device designed specifically to reduce the impact of vehicles colliding with utility poles and trees, was installed at a site on Papakura’s busy Hingaia Road in time for Queens Birthday weekend.

The Raptor™ is a fully recyclable protector that wraps around utility poles and trees reducing the severity of ‘run off road’ accidents which account for approximately 30% of all road incidents in New Zealand.

Papakura District Council have carried out work on a section of Hingaia Road where several road accidents have occured recently. Improvements have been made to the road surface and the Raptor™ has been installed at two potentially dangerous powerpole sites.

Not only is the Raptor™ innovation potentially a life saving device, it could be a cost saver. The total social cost of a road fatality in New Zealand is around $3.5 million per fatality and $372,000 per serious injury(1). The Raptor™ could also mean savings for Councils and ratepayers and potential reductions in ACC claims according to CSP Pacific.

“The crash test results reveal startling evidence to show that the severity of impact when a car hits a protected versus unprotected pole is significantly reduced,” says CSP Pacific Business Development Manager, Raymond Kuys. “Based on this evidence, it would be illogical not to install a Raptor™ on potentially lethal or high risk poles and trees on New Zealand roads.”

Papakura District Council is the first in New Zealand to adopt the new technology.  The Council’s Capital Works Manager, Richard Firth, says the move to install Raptor™ crash cushions is a proactive one to mitigate the immovable powerpoles and create a safer stretch of road.

“While we have reduced the on-road risk by improving road texture and widening the seal, it was important that we didn’t in fact create another potential danger spot,” says Mr Firth. “It is not economically practical to go out and relocate or remove these potential hazards at present, but we are able to provide a quick and effective solution to the problem by using Raptor™ crash cushions.  If a relocation programme for the powerpoles can be implemented in the future, a Raptor™ can be moved and reused elsewhere.”
The Raptor™ is a highly compact and cost effective alternative to the use of a full-scale crash cushion or removing and relocating poles and trees.  It is a New Zealand innovation by North Shore based company, Armorflex, and has been crash tested to NCHRP350 Test Level 1 (TL-1). Recent crash testing on the Raptor™ involved three tests using both a lightweight vehicle and pickup truck as required by NCHRP 350. The Raptor™ was judged to have successfully met all applicable evaluation criteria for NCHRP 350 TL-1 for a re-directive, non-gating crash cushion.

There are two sizes of Raptor™ 300 and 600 and they are also available for hire. Call CSP Pacific now on 0800 655 200 for more information.



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