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Purpose and Design of Flexible Delineators

Road maintenance is essential to ensure the safety of motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists in South Africa. However, such maintenance works pose a safety risk while they are in progress. Road users are faced with unexpected obstacles, changes to lanes, and various other roadside hazards, such as sand, gravel heaps, heavy machinery, and road workers. Optimum visibility of the roadworks is essential to help road users determine where they can or should drive, what to avoid, and at what speed they can safely travel. Paths or lanes must be clearly demarcated to encourage a smooth flow of traffic during the road maintenance.

Delineators form part of the road-safety products used during the maintenance of existing and the building of new roads. Flexible delineators serve to guide traffic into specific lanes. Such devices are designed to withstand vehicle impact without causing extensive damage to an impacting vehicle. Flexible delineators come in various heights and colour options. In addition, the delineators can have flat-panel or tubular-panel designs. Delineators, unlike temporary bollards or barriers, are not intended to obstruct passage into a specific area. The products are rather designed to guide road users in using specific lanes. The devices are mostly used to guide traffic and they cannot stop a vehicle, because they are not crash barriers. They are highly visible during the day and at night, because of their reflective panels. The units also serve to alert road users of changing conditions because of their presence, whether these are hazards or changing lanes. Delineators on guardrails differ from the flexible types in the sense that their placement of the guardrail units is permanent.

Flexible units are used as standalone products. Several such units are placed a set distance from each other to close off a path or area where the motorists should not drive and to guide the motorists into using a demarcated path. Because road maintenance is a temporary hazard and the units are moved to the next spot of roadworks once no longer needed at a current spot, it is essential that the products be lightweight in design. They must be portable and must take up as little as possible space when transported as well. It is also essential that the units take up little road surface space, as to provide motorists as much as possible road surface to use during the road maintenance period. The surface footprint of the units is thus kept to a minimum through effective design.

It is also essential that the units do not cause major damage to impacting vehicles, to prevent them from becoming hazards in themselves. The design thus makes it possible for the delineator blade to bend backwards or sideways on impact and to return to the upright position once the impact is over. In this way, the unit is not damaged to the point where it cannot serve its purpose of guiding road users. If the impact is severe, the blade comes loose from the base and damage to the impacting vehicle is limited. Replacing the delineator is easy, since the sturdy base stays in place. It is a matter of installing a new blade, which can be done within minutes.

With such quick deployment of the products, it is possible to change a demarcated path quickly and thereby reduce the risk of injury to road workers or the occurrence of accidents while moving the delineators around. Flexible delineators are designed to ensure vertical visibility to maximise effectiveness as channelling devices. These devices are especially effective in areas where side-impact accidents are a high risk, such as where traffic must merge from one path onto another. The devices prevent the vehicles from moving to the one side too fast as the vehicles enter the traffic stream. The flexible nature of the devices keeps them from causing extensive damage on impact, should a vehicle accidentally hit them while moving into the correct lane.

The units are designed to be robust and can be used at pedestrian pathways, temporary road works, and in parking areas. The devices have several benefits such as:

  • Cost-effective traffic control.
  • Excellent visibility.
  • Easy deployment.
  • Durability to ensure reusability.
  • Low surface footprint.

View our range of flexible delineators and get in touch for a quote or to place your order.

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