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About the Webinar

Safe Roads have Safe Roadsides

Road authorities around the world are developing best practices to reduce the number of fatal and serious injury crashes on roads by making their roads more “forgiving.” A safe roadside includes a safety zone or clear zone that is free of fixed obstacles. This provides a recovery zone where the driver who has driven off road can take corrective actions to get back on the road. When this clear zone cannot be achieved due to the presence of fixed objects, efforts must be made to modify these fixed objects to make them more forgiving. While this will not eliminate impacts from happening, this will significantly reduce the consequences of the impacts for the motorist(s). Poles, such as those used for utility poles, luminaries and sign posts, are typically located close to the road, and in many cases their close proximity to the road is required. Unfortunately, drivers do make mistakes near these poles and do impact these poles all too frequently. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, utility poles, luminaries and sign posts are responsible for 15 percent of the fatalities when a fixed object alongside the road is impacted in the United States. It is critical that road authorities use state-of-the-art technologies and best practices to reduce the severity of these impacts. This webinar will introduce attendees to technologies being used around the world to make poles located close to the road more forgiving. Attendees will learn about the current testing standards for these products used in Europe (EN12767) and in the United States (MASH-Manual to Assess Safety Hardware). The webinar will also explain how to evaluate these products and to better understand where and when to implement them. It is essential that forgiving products be implemented to create safer roadsides and save lives. These “forgiving poles” should be an integral element of a road authority’s strategy to meet the challenge of the Decade of Action to reduce projected fatalities by 50 percent between 2011 and 2020.


Carolien Willems

AsiaRC1-Best-031Carolien Willems is Belgian and co-owner of the Belgian company Safety Product. Safety Product is a company promoting the ZIPpole, a passive safe pole for roadlighting. Carolien is a product designer, as well as the developer of the ZIPpole and the automatic production line where the ZIPpole is produced. Carolien is member of CEN/TC226/WG10, the European working group of EN12767. EN12767 is the European standard which describes how to crash test vertical road infrastructure in real life crash tests and how to approve the infrastructure as being passive safe.

Michael Stenko

Michael-StenkoMichael S. Stenko is President and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S company Transpo Industries, Inc.  He has more than 35 years experience working in the transportation industry. Mr. Stenko helped design the companies Omni-Directional Breakaway Support systems for highway signs and luminaries. A system currently used as the standard by many agencies in the United States. As a prominent member of the industry, Mike Stenko serves on numerous committees; his memberships include TRB, ACI, ASCE, and past Chair of AASHTO/AGC/ARTBA Taskforce 13 on highway signs and luminaries. He is currently serving on the board of directors of ARTBA. Mr. Stenko has been involved in many global initiatives including those sponsored by AASHTO and FHWA. He has created and given accredited technical presentations to State DOT’s and engineering design firms. He is a Civil Engineer with a degree from Lehigh University. >