Vehicle Restraint Systems (VRS)

Vehicle Restraint Systems (VRS)

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BS EN 1317-5 Vehicle Restraint Systems
BS EN 1317-5 Vehicle Restraint Systems
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What are vehicle restraint systems?

Vehicle Restraint Systems (VRS) are road safety measures that contain and redirect vehicles. They reduce the severity of accidents for occupants and the public. Designed and installed on the verge and central reservations of road, they are used to contain and redirect errant vehicles. Hitting a vehicle restraint system is less harmful than hitting hazards like trees, water, or crowds behind it.

Types of VRS systems

There are different types of VRS systems, but all of them are designed to enhance road safety by preventing or minimizing the impact of vehicle accidents. Below are some safety system examples:

  • Permanent safety barriers
  • Vehicle parapets
  • Crash cushions
  • Temporary safety barriers
  • Terminals
  • Transitions
  • Motorcyclist protection systems

VRS Certification

VRS certification is the process of ensuring that a particular type or design of system has been tested and meets necessary safety standards. Certification is obtained through a rigorous testing process and is important for ensuring the reliability and effectiveness of vehicle restraint systems. Using impact tests, road authorities can recognize and specify the correct VRS to be used on any given road. In the UK and EU, VRS performance is tested with standard BS EN 1317.

BS EN 1317 consists of several parts:
Part 1 - Terminology and general criteria for test methods
Part 2 - Performance classes, impact test acceptance criteria and test methods for safety barriers including vehicle parapets
Part 3 - Performance classes, impact test acceptance criteria and test methods for crash cushions
Part 5 - Product requirements and evaluation of conformity for vehicle restraint systems

UKCA and CE Marking of VRS

Permanent safety barriers, vehicle parapets and crash cushions must be affixed with the CE Mark to be placed onto the EU market and must be affixed with the UKCA Mark to be placed onto the GB market after 31st December 2022.

The route to both CE and UKCA Marking is specified with the harmonised (EU) and designated (UK) standard BS EN 1317 Part 5, which requires Initial Type Testing (impact testing) in accordance with BS EN 1317 Parts 1, 2 and 3, along with Factory Production Control.

Non-harmonized VRS

Some VRS products are not currently covered by BS EN 1317-5, for instance temporary barriers, terminals, transitions and motorcyclist protection systems, and cannot be affixed with the CE or UKCA Mark. The performance requirements for these products are covered by:

DD ENV 1317-4 – Performance classes, impact test acceptance criteria and test methods for terminals and transitions of safety barriers.
TS 1317-8 - Motorcycle road restraint systems which reduce the impact severity of motorcyclist collisions with safety barriers.

As these products cannot be CE or UKCA Marked, their use on the road network and adoption of these standards and any additional requirements are up to the individual national and local authority.

Market Access with BSI

As a Notified and Approved Body for BS EN 1317-5 along with a global reach of factory assessors, BSI can provide certification to support manufacturers with both CE and UKCA Marking of permanent safety barriers, vehicle parapets and crash cushions anywhere in the world, ensuring manufacturers have a simple route to the EU and UK markets.

For non-harmonized VRS products, such as temporary roadside barriers, terminals, transitions, and motorcyclist protection systems, BSI work on behalf of National Highways as an Independent Reviewer of non-harmonised VRS products. We can provide technical evaluation and approval of these products, allowing their use on the national road network.

What you need to know about UKCA

The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessment) mark is the new UK product marking that will be required for certain products being placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland). It covers most products that previously required the CE mark. It will not be recognised in the EU market. Products that require CE marking will still need a CE marking to be sold in the EU.

If you’d like to know more – to ensure you’re fully aware of the requirements and the impact on your business – you can opt to take market access (inc. CE, UKCA) training courses from BSI Training Academy.