11:52 Thursday 26 December 2013

Under-threat barriers prevented smash fatalities, says top cop

Written byMARK MCKAY

BURTON’S top cop has hailed under-threat road safety measures as ‘lifesaving’ after two people walked away from a smash on the A38 – close to the spot where two sisters died in a similar accident last year.

Chief Inspector Steve Maskrey (pictured) renewed his plea for the closure of gaps south of the Branston interchange to be made permanent following the crash.

A Nissan Micra hit the central reservation near to where sisters Parveen Kauser and Raheela Altaf died in a similar incident in 2012.

The closure of gaps in the central reservation – which were closed as a result of the fatal crash – were the reason the latest smash was not more serious, Chief Insp Maskrey said.

He told the Mail: “It is the considered opinion of one of the officers who attended this incident that the direct presence of the temporary barriers prevented this collision claiming serious casualties or even lives.

“The officer made it quite clear, he believed the safety improvements were lifesaving – if the car had gone through the gap then who knows what would have happened?”

Gaps between the two carriageways have been temporarily closed following the crash thanks to lobbying from the police and Burton MP Andrew Griffiths.

But plans to make the safety measures permanent were plunged into jeopardy after the Highways Agency received three complaints about additional journey time and cost.

After hearing news of the latest collision, Mr Griffiths asked what ‘clearer evidence’ was need for the introduction of permanent safety measures on the stretch of road.

He said: “The families of those motorists would be getting a visit from the police to tell them tragic news.

“In this case, because of the barriers, they were just badly shaken up.

“It’s clear that these barriers save lives and this news makes me more determined to make sure the gaps are closed.”

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