Q. Why was there a guardrail put up on Castle Hayne Road near Castle Hayne and not one put up on N.C. 132 and Prince George Creek?
A. Matthew T. Carlisle, regional traffic safety engineer for the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division Three, offers a detailed explanation.
Carlisle said that a guardrail recently installed on N.C. 133, Castle Hayne Road, was put in “as a Spot Safety project which was developed after a fatal crash in June 2012.”
“My office investigates fatal crashes that occur in Highway Division Three and after investigating the crash that occurred last June, it was determined that the location could benefit from the installation of guardrail to protect vehicles from the drop-off into the creek,” Carlisle said.
Carlisle said that a guardrail was not installed at Prince George Creek on N.C. 132, North College Road, following a fatal crash in 2004.
The reason “at least partly, was because there was no investigation,” he said.
“When the highway patrol submits their paperwork to the DMV, if the crash had a fatality, it triggers the process for our regional field offices like mine to investigate that crash,” he said.
“After much digging” on the part of N.C. DOT, Carlisle said it appears “that the September 2004 fatal crash was originally coded on the paperwork as ‘no injury’ and was then later changed to ‘fatal injury.’”
“This clerical error prevented it from ever triggering the process for an investigation,” Carlisle said.
Carlisle said he began working at the position two years ago, and his predecessor had no memory of the crash.
“If an investigation had been done, the engineer may very well have deemed that this location could also have benefited from the installation of guardrail,” he said. “However, that crash is the only recorded crash at that location in the last 25 years, and is outside of our typical five-year period which we use to fund safety projects.”
Date posted: September 4, 2013
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