Major Safety Improvements in New Zealand Could be Good for US Route 1 – the Pacific Coast Highway

Removing or alternating passing/overtaking possibilities on undivided rural highways, together with the introduction of narrow-profile guard rails between the center lines is a technique that was pioneered very successfully by Sweden and has now been used with similar success in New Zealand.  And there’s definitely both the scope and the need to use it in the USA, too.

Photo of the Pacific Coast Highway, north of Malibu, California
Part of an ADoNA defensive and advanced driving training route, this is a small section of the Pacific Coast Highway, north of Malibu, California (with a school bus and several cars in the middle distance). Copyright image.

 As soon as I saw the start of the video, below, it reminded me greatly of a road on which I and some of our team from Advanced Drivers of North America [ADoNA] have done a lot of instructing for defensive and advanced driving courses — U.S. Route 1, the Pacific Coast Highway in California, from Los Angeles to Ventura (see photo above).

Undoubtedly, however, the coastal scenery had much to do with my own recollections and this excellent, life-saving approach could be applied to a huge number of roads.

Photo of a visual-only barrier on Route 2 in Massachusetts. No doubt it is an improvement on the years before it was erected but it cannot physically stop any out-of-control vehicle.
A visual-only barrier on Route 2 in Massachusetts. No doubt it is an improvement on the years before it was erected but it cannot physically stop any out-of-control vehicle. (Copyright image.)

The final photograph, above, shows Route 2 in Massachusetts, which has almost certainly benefitted from the very visual “barrier” in between the yellow center lines.  However, brightly-colored, deflectable posts do not and cannot stop a drunk, distracted, drugged or drowsy driver plowing straight across into a potential head-on collision, so roads like this should undoubtedly be re-thought if maximum safety and fewest deaths are the goal.

Eddie Wren, CEO & Chief Instructor – Advanced Drivers of North America

Author: EddieWren

Eddie Wren is the CEO and Chief Instructor at Advanced Drivers of North America. His driver safety background is given at: http://www.advanceddrivers.com/ceochief-instructors-resumecvbio/

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