DOVER, Del. (WJHL) — Another state is banning a guardrail safety product citing several fatal crashes that happened in Tennessee.
News Channel 11 has learned that on May 1, the State of Delaware’s Department of Transportation removed the X-Lite guardrail end terminal from its approved products list.
The state’s chief engineer said he based the decision on information from the chief engineer at the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
“This specific end terminal shall not be installed on any DelDOT guardrail until further notice,” Robert McCleary, Chief Engineer for DelDOT wrote in a letter to contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers dated May 1.
McCleary said he made the decision based on information from the TDOT.
He said, “… through in-service evaluation and review of crash data, TDOT has found situations in which the head of the end terminal has become detached from the guardrail, leading to potential and known vehicle compartment penetration”
TDOT ordered the total removal of the X-Lite end terminal from Tennessee roads earlier this year after four fatal crashes involving the terminal since last summer.
Steve Eimers, the father a teenager killed in one of those crashes told News Channel 11 late Wednesday afternoon that, “Delaware DOT should be commended for their bold action.”
Eimers added that, “Now is the time for FHWA to take equally bold action in rescinding Letter CC-120. We have more data than necessary, their names were Hannah, Lauren, Jacob, Wilbert, Sarah, and George. That’s enough data!’”
Hannah was the name of Eimers’ daughter killed in a car crash. The others are the names of other people killed in crashes linked to guardrail terminals.
Letter CC-120 is the Federal Highway Administration’s document informing states the product has met federal safety criteria and is eligible for federal reimbursement.
VDOT removed the terminal from its approved list last year after independent crash testing and is removing them in high risk areas across the state.
The maker of the X-Lite told News Channel 11 the terminal has met all safety requirements and remains approved for use by the federal government.