Do What's Right, VDOT Make Safety A Priority

It is VDOT's responsibility to ensure guardrails are properly installed, maintained and repaired.

Federal authorities and the leading association of state highway and traffic officials agree: when guardrail end terminals are improperly installed, or poorly maintained or repaired, these conditions can adversely affect their safety performance.

Last December, Trinity Highway Products notified VDOT there were numerous ET Plus® System end terminals that were not properly maintained or repaired. The photos below demonstrate end terminal maintenance and repair is not a priority to VDOT.

It has been ten months, and the end terminal above has not been repaired. There are many other end terminals on Virginia roadways in similar condition.

In May 2015, a Federal Highway Administration memo to all state departments of transportation said, "it is critical that devices (end terminals) be installed and maintained properly so they are in the best condition to perform as designed and tested."
Listen to the experts, VDOT. Invest in safety. Repair damaged guardrail end terminals.

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An Open Letter to Commonwealth of Virginia Motorists                                       September 2015

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) officials are now in California to observe multiple crash tests of a guardrail end terminal they consider to be the ET Plus® System. We think it’s time you know that VDOT’s actions completely ignore the recommendations of a panel of experts representing federal and state transportation agencies. 

In releasing the results of the most comprehensive in-service analysis of roadside safety hardware ever, the Joint Task Force on Guardrail Terminal Crash Analysis said:  

  • “No further crash testing of existing extruding guardrail terminals under NCHRP Report 350 is recommended.”
  • “… additional NCHRP 350 crash testing of existing guardrail terminals would be irrelevant …”  
  • “The Task Force considered additional crash testing of all existing NCHRP 350-compliant extruding w-beam guardrail terminals but concluded that such testing would not be informative.”

In addition to the report1, consider this: the ET Plus® System is the most crash tested product of its kind. It has successfully passed every standardized safety performance test, including eight additional tests conducted in December 2014 and January 2015. The ET Plus® System has been in service in Virginia for a decade and has played a key role in reducing reported fatalities on Virginia’s roadways by 92%. And when asked by federal officials in January how end terminals are performing on Virginia roadways, VDOT replied they are “performing as expected.” 

So who is VDOT listening to? The transportation and safety experts who say that additional testing is irrelevant and not informative? Or are they listening to trial attorneys in the Commonwealth who are hoping for a payday?

1.Copies of the report can be found at