The safety structure, however, is more than just eye candy. It is a new technology that could help save lives.
The road roller safety system — consisting of a sturdy steel tube, between which plastic cylinders that act as shock absorbers spin around its axis — had been placed at the 100m stretch.
It is the first in the country.
The rollers act by reducing the impact of collision and ensuring the vehicle remain on the road instead of veering off it.
The Works Ministry described the pilot project as a way forward to elevate road safety standards.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, said the new guardrail was installed on Dec 7. The structure was placed there as the area had been identified as a “black spot” following the number of accidents that had taken place due to the sharp bend.
“We will monitor the effectiveness of this guardrail for three months and prepare a report,” he said.
“Thus far, there have not been any accidents recorded there since the guardrail was installed.”
Fadillah said the ministry was testing the effectiveness of the guardrail and if it produced positive results, the structure would be installed at other accident-prone areas on federal roads and expressways.
He was asked to comment if the ministry had planned to upgrade guardrails on highways following the accident involving an express bus in Pagoh on Christmas eve that claimed 14 lives.
The pre-dawn tragedy saw the bus slamming into the guardrail before plunging into a 10m ravine at Km137.3 of the North-South Expressway. The bus, that had departed from Johor Baru, was on its way to Kuala Lumpur.
There were suggestions of replacing the current TL3 guardrails to TL6 which are able to withstand impact from vehicles weighing above 3,500kg.
Fadillah said the guardrail was able to minimise damage to vehicles that crashed into it, thus reducing casualities.
“We want to minimise the death toll caused by road accidents. We are willing to try new technologies to bring down the numbers,” he said
The idea was inspired following his recent visit for a road safety conference in South Korea.
It is understood South Korean firm ETI was behind the technology.