The Croatian Motorways public company (HAC) has begun the implementation of a pilot project to install horizontal signalling with 3D effect at ten junctions and five rest stops that will alert drivers who are driving in the wrong direction, reports Večernji List on May 3, 2019.
The HAC says they receive about 200 reports a year of driving in the wrong direction on the motorways, but not all reports are confirmed. Some drivers realize their mistake on time and then return to the right direction before the police arrive. However, about 70 per cent of the reports are confirmed, but most end with no serious consequences or traffic accidents. Still, since 2007, 38 accidents occurred on the HAC motorways due to driving in the wrong direction and 11 people were killed, while 47 were injured.
The HAC says that vehicles moving in the opposite direction on motorways represent a serious threat to the safety of all traffic participants. Such driving often ends with a frontal crash and, although the number of such violations is not large, the consequences are often severe injuries and deaths. The mistake most commonly occurs at junctions and rest stops due to drivers being tired, people driving under the influence, a fall in concentration, people not noticing traffic signals or, in the worst case, due to the self-destructive behaviour of some drivers.
The HAC says that the existing traffic signalling preventing the entry of vehicles in the wrong direction is not enough and needs to be supplemented. Horizontal 3D traffic signalization would thus, together with the existing vertical signalisation, act as a physical obstacle, further alerting drivers that they are driving in the wrong direction.
The HAC states that such a way of preventing vehicle entry in the opposite direction is unique in Europe and is used as a pilot-project only in Austria. The horizontal 3D traffic signalling consists of two sections. The first part is made up of several smaller elements, usually three, that create a 3D effect of spikes, while the second part consists of a 3D effect of an elevated surface.
The HAC has prepared an analytical report on 3D traffic signalling and has received consent from the Ministry of the Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure. They have developed the tender documentation and are now launching a public procurement process for the project implementation. The estimated value of the works is one million kuna. For the pilot project, the junctions and rest stops with most incidents involving driving in the wrong direction have been selected.
At each junction, the signalling will be placed at two spots where it is possible to enter the motorway in the wrong direction, while at the rest stops it will be placed at a single location.
The HAC expects that the implementation of the project will start after the tourist season when they complete the public procurement procedure and conclude the contract with the winning bidder. They will then track and analyse the data for a year to see if the project was successful. The HAC expects that the number of incidents with driving in the wrong direction will be reduced.
Translated from Večernji List (reported by Josip Bohutinski).
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