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Saturday, December 27, 2014

U.S. Alerts Public to Guardrails That Plaintiffs Say Turn Into Spears on Impact

Today's post is shared from Bloomberg,com/

A U.S. highway regulator opened an Internet portal this week allowing the public to report accidents tied to a Trinity Industries Inc. (TRN) guardrail system, which has been linked by lawsuits to at least eight deaths.

The Federal Highway Administration’s move is the latest sign of intensifying government scrutiny of Trinity and its shock-absorbing guardrail end-terminal, the ET-Plus. Drivers and their families have claimed that the system can seize up on impact, spearing cars instead of giving way as intended.

Earlier this month, the highway agency told U.S. lawmakers it would consider mandating additional crash tests on the system if it finds the current round, which started Dec. 10, isn’t sufficient. One of those lawmakers, Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, said he plans to press Trinity in the new year for accountability over undocumented changes it may have made to the ET-Plus.

Blumenthal, a Democrat, has joined the FHWA in asking whether Dallas-based Trinity quietly adjusted the dimensions of its system. Such a revision would represent the third version of the end-terminal since Trinity introduced it in 2000. The company admitted once already to changing the ET-Plus in 2005 and not telling the agency. It has denied allegations in lawsuits that the modified, second version poses an unnecessary danger to crashing...
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Read more about Guardrail Safety fro the Federal Highway Administration: