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Massachusetts Sticking with Trinity Ban

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Patrick Murray2 years ago

Despite testing and a government approval, Massachusetts is staying strong with its ban of the ET Plus Guardrail Systems from Trinity Industries.

About the Guardrail Decision

According to Newbury Port News, Massachusetts is one of over 30 states that currently has a ban on the controversial guardrails. They have been waiting patiently as officials from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) conducted a year-long investigation of over 1,200 crashes.

The FHWA found that the guardrails have “limitations,” sometimes leading to “harmful occurrences.”

The FWHA also maintains that the guardrails meet the safety standard, but recommend that that standard be improved.

Massachusetts isn’t buying it. Michael Verseckes, spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), said that the state is sticking with the ban even though it meets the current standards.

The MassDOT has already replaced over 800 Trinity Guardrails with other federally approved and less controversial guardrails after last year’s snowstorms led to damage by snow plows.

Verseckes said about the matter, “MassDOT’s first priority is public safety on state highways. We will be looking internally to find ways to enhance our efforts to inspect and maintain guardrails and all other roadside hardware until the new, nationwide guidelines take effect.”

About the Controversial Guardrails

Trinity Industries came under investigation after a former guardrail business owner claimed that the company defrauded the federal government by reducing the size of an integral part of the ET-Plus guardrails without notice, eventually leading to a federal lawsuit.

This investigation led to the discovery that Trinity was saving $50,000 a year while sacrificing the structural integrity of the guardrails from this change.

A jury ruled that Trinity violated the False Claims Act by defrauding the federal government. Trinity was ordered to pay $525 million in damages.

So far, there are eight deaths and more than three dozen crashes that have been connected to the Trinity ET-Plus guardrail systems.

One of the crashes was in Massachusetts in 2011, causing a woman to lose her leg.


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