SEJONG, Dec. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — In order to address the problem of black ice, which causes traffic accidents in winter, the government has started to come up with comprehensive measures such as identifying vulnerable ice spots and installing facilities such as advance forecasts and hotlines.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said Monday that it is working on measures to prevent roads from freezing due to rising concerns over traffic accidents caused by black ice.
On December 14, there were multiple pileups on the highway that leads to Youngcheon, North Gyeongsang Province, resulting in seven fatalities and leaving 32 others injured.
The government currently designates and manages 193 highways and national roads as vulnerable zones for ice, mainly around sharp curves, shady areas and tunnels.
However, the highway en route to Youngcheon, where the accident occurred, was not included in the vulnerable highway list because it is generally straight and not seen as dangerous.
Even if a road does not meet the existing criteria for vulnerable areas, roadway that is likely to be affected by black ice will be included in the vulnerable areas due to high humidity.
The government plans to strengthen the role of the management office when additional sections of vulnerable roads are identified, while also establishing a prediction system that warns motorists via electronic signs if black ice is expected.
The government is also considering installing heating elements for some sections of road, while expanding an automatic salt injection system that sprays saltwater for snow removal on vulnerable areas of uphill roads, bridges or tunnels.
“In the case of foreign countries, black ice is prevented by short heating elements only for the 50 or 100 meters of roadway that is vulnerable to freezing,” a government official said.
“We are also considering installing heating systems.”
Meanwhile, the practice of “grooving”, which is known to be effective in preventing black ice, will also be expanded.
Grooving refers to the process of making small grooves in the road, the government explained, and making grooves in the direction of vehicle travel could help to minimize ice buildup on the surface of the road.
M. H. Lee (email@example.com)