Road Safety Barrier Systems


Road safety barriers are broadly described as flexible, semi-rigid or rigid. Wire rope barriers used in Australia and New Zealand are tensioned.

A barrier should only be installed when the consequences of vehicle impact with the barrier are likely to be less severe than the consequences of impact with the feature being shielded. Generally, the likelihood of striking a barrier is greater than striking the hazard (e.g. a tree some distance further from the road). However, the severity of an impact with the barrier is usually much less than that associated with striking the hazard.

For hazards adjacent to existing roads, alternative options should be considered before a decision is taken to install a barrier. These may include improvements to the road (e.g. alignment, cross-section, pavement surface, delineation) and/or the removal or treatment of hazards. Options for the removal, treatment or shielding of roadside hazards should be considered during the planning and design phases of projects.

Only road safety barriers and end treatments approved by the relevant state or national road authority should be used in that jurisdiction. The road safety barriers and end treatments covered in this guide generally comply with AS/NZS 3845 – 1999. However, other devices may be used with the approval of the relevant authority following a product acceptance process that includes testing. When using proprietary products it is important that reference is made to the relevant manufacturer’s manuals and specifications. (Austroads Guide to Road Design - Part 6, 2010).

Barrier systems should be accepted or approved for use by the relevant national or state road authority.


AS/NZS 3845: Road safety barrier systems and devices

Part 1 (2015) sets out the requirements for permanent and temporary safety barriers systems that include longitudinal road safety barriers, terminals, crash cushions, interfaces including transitions, and longitudinal barrier gates.

Part 2 (2017) sets out the requirements for both permanent and temporary road safety devices that include bollards, pedestrian fences and channelizers, truck or trailer mounted attenuators, and sign support structures and poles. 


 For further information please click on the following links & download:

     Cover of Guide to Road Design Part 6: Roadside Design, Safety and Barriers