Types and purpose of Road barriers

road barriers

Road barriers are physical structures placed along roads or highways to control, redirect, or limit the movement of vehicles. They serve various purposes, such as preventing unauthorized access, guiding traffic flow, and enhancing safety by protecting against potential hazards. Road barriers come in different forms, including concrete barriers, metal guardrails, plastic barriers, and bollards.

In the UAE (United Arab Emirates), road barriers are commonly used for traffic management, safety, and security purposes. These barriers can include concrete barriers, metal guardrails, and other types designed to regulate the movement of vehicles on roads and highways. In addition to traffic control, road barriers in the UAE may be employed for protection against potential threats or to secure specific areas. The specific types of barriers used can vary based on the location, purpose, and local regulations.

Types of road barriers:

In the UAE, various types of road barriers are used to address specific traffic and safety needs. Some common types include:

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Concrete Barriers:


Used for lane separation, medians, and preventing vehicles from crossing into opposing traffic.


Sturdy concrete construction for durability and impact resistance.


Highways, expressways, and urban roads to enhance safety and manage traffic flow.



Positioned along roadsides and curves to prevent vehicles from leaving the road and to protect against collisions with obstacles.


Typically made of metal for flexibility and energy absorption during impacts.


Commonly installed on highways, curves, and areas with elevated terrain.

Jersey Barriers:


Modular concrete barriers shaped like the letter “New Jersey,” serve multiple purposes in traffic management and protection.


Reinforced concrete for strength and versatility.


Used for lane delineation, traffic channelization, and as protective barriers in various road configurations.



Short, sturdy posts are used for restricting vehicle access, protecting pedestrian areas, and guiding traffic.


Can be made of concrete, metal, or other durable materials.


Deployed in urban areas, around buildings, and to create pedestrian zones.

Crash Barriers:


Specifically designed to absorb impact energy during collisions, minimizing damage to vehicles and enhancing occupant safety.


Engineered to deform upon impact, dissipating kinetic energy.


Critical areas where higher crash protection is required, such as sharp curves or areas with high-speed traffic.

Road Blockers:


Motorized barriers can be raised or lowered, controlling access to specific areas and enhancing security.


Sturdy construction to withstand attempted breaches.


Checkpoints, secure facilities, and areas requiring controlled access.

These varied types of road barriers contribute to the overall safety, efficiency, and organization of the road infrastructure in the UAE, aligning with international standards and local traffic regulations.

Purpose of road barrier:

The primary purpose of road barriers is to enhance safety and manage traffic by controlling, redirecting, or limiting the movement of vehicles. Road barriers serve several key functions:

Traffic Management:

Congestion Prevention: 

Barriers are strategically placed to control the flow of traffic, preventing congestion and maintaining a smooth movement of vehicles.


Barriers help direct vehicles into specific lanes, guiding traffic through intersections, turns, and construction zones.

Safety Enhancement:

Vehicle Collision Prevention: 

Barriers act as a physical barrier between opposing traffic flows, reducing the risk of head-on collisions.

Speed Control: 

Some barriers are designed to influence driver behavior by encouraging safe speeds and preventing excessive speeding.

Lane Delineation:

Visual Guidance: 

Barriers, such as painted lines or raised dividers, visually define lanes, reducing confusion and improving overall road discipline.

Preventing Lane Drifting: 

Marked lanes and physical dividers help prevent unintentional lane changes, decreasing the likelihood of accidents.


Access Control: 

Barriers are used to control and restrict access to certain areas, enhancing security at checkpoints, sensitive facilities, and controlled zones.

Perimeter Protection: 

Barriers safeguard property and infrastructure by limiting vehicular access and deterring unauthorized entry.

Pedestrian Safety:

Separated Walkways: 

Barriers provide physical separation between pedestrian walkways and vehicular traffic, reducing the risk of accidents at intersections and crosswalks.

Traffic Calming: 

Certain barriers are used to slow down traffic in areas with high pedestrian activity.

Infrastructure Protection:

Preventing Collisions with Structures: 

Barriers protect roadside structures, buildings, and other infrastructure components from damage caused by vehicles.

Mitigating Impact Forces: 

Crash barriers are specifically designed to absorb and dissipate energy during collisions, minimizing the impact on structures and occupants.


Temporary Configurations: 

Barriers are employed to create temporary traffic configurations, such as detours, during construction or maintenance activities.

Diverting Traffic: 

In the case of accidents or road closures, barriers can be used to redirect traffic onto alternative routes.

Emergency Response:

Crash Barriers: 

Designed to absorb and dissipate impact energy, crash barriers provide a level of protection for vehicle occupants during collisions.

Facilitating Emergency Access: 

Barriers may be designed to be quickly removable or bypassed to allow emergency vehicles rapid access to incident sites.

Road barriers serve a multifaceted role in creating a safer, more organized, and efficient road environment, addressing various challenges related to traffic management, safety, and infrastructure protection.

Plastic barrier size:

The size of plastic barriers can vary based on their specific design, purpose, and manufacturer. Plastic barriers are often used for traffic control, construction zones, and various other applications. Common sizes for plastic barriers typically include:


Plastic barriers can range from a few feet to several feet in length, with common lengths being 6 feet, 8 feet, or even longer.


The height of plastic barriers can vary as well, usually falling in the range of 3 feet to 4 feet. Some barriers may have additional features, such as a reflective strip for increased visibility.


The width of plastic barriers is designed to provide stability and prevent tipping. Standard widths are often in the range of 1 to 2 feet.

It is important to note that these dimensions are general estimates, and specific products may have variations. When considering plastic barriers for a particular application, it’s advisable to check with the manufacturer or supplier for precise specifications based on the intended use and local regulations.

Final remarks:

In the UAE, road barriers play a pivotal role in shaping a safe and well-organized transportation infrastructure. With a focus on adhering to international standards, these barriers, including concrete barriers, guardrails, bollards, and crash barriers, contribute significantly to the country’s commitment to traffic safety and efficient traffic management.

The deployment of various types of road barriers in the UAE reflects a comprehensive approach to address specific challenges, from preventing unauthorized access to protecting pedestrians and infrastructure. Whether guiding traffic on highways, delineating lanes in urban areas, or securing sensitive locations with road blockers, these barriers are integral to maintaining a secure and functional road network.

Overall, road barriers in the UAE not only enhance safety but also contribute to the overall efficiency and organization of the country’s transportation system, aligning with its commitment to providing a safe and smooth experience for road users.

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