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HASLAM SIGNS JOINT RESOLUTION ASKING FOR ALL X-LITE GUARDRAILS TO BE REMOVED

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Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has signed into law a joint resolution that recommends all X-Lite Flared Terminal and X-Lite Tangent Terminal guardrails to be recalled from all roads. The guardrail terminals were blamed for deaths, including 17-year-old Hannah Elmers, who died in a late-2016 crash in McMinn County. Elmers’ vehicle collided with a X-Lite guardrail on the driver’s side. The end of the guardrail sliced through her car door and hit Hannah in the head, killing her instantly. The controversial guardrail was also blamed for two deaths in Cumberland County. On June 29, 2016, the Tennessee Highway Patrol responded to a vehicle accident at the 315 mile marker of Interstate 40 near Crossville, where 18-year-old Jacob D. Davidson of North Carolina and 21-year-old Lauren A. Beuttel of Johnson City were both killed. Officers say a X-Lite guardrail impaled the vehicle the two were in upon impact. The Tennessee Department of Transportation acknowledged the guardrails were unsafe and stopped installing them in the state of Tennessee. Since then, parents who lost their children in crashes similar to Elmer’s joined in the fight to remove the X-Lite terminals from roadways. Yesterday (May 4, 2018), Lindsay Transportation Solutions released the following statement in response to the resolution’s passage: “It is concerning that Tennessee legislators have used their position to spread fear about a road safety product that has reduced the number and severity of injuries sustained in automobile accidents. Further, it is unacceptable that they have acted without consulting publicly available performance data of the X-LITE, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), or even road safety experts. Lindsay Transportation Solutions would have welcomed the opportunity to share the facts with the Tennessee General Assembly, but we were never invited or contacted.” TDOT crews are presently replacing the X-Lite guardrails with another brand that conforms to deferal safety standards. Crews are replacing some X-lite guardrail terminals with MASH systems, which follow new federal safety criteria. The MASH-compliant Sequential Kinking Terminal (MSKT) is an energy-absorbing tangent terminal. During head-on impacts, the MSKT head slides over the W-beam guardrail. The rail is sequentially kinked as it moves through the impact head. The kinked guardrail exits the head and the vehicle is brought to a controlled stop.


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