Location and Design Division

Roadside Safety Devices 

The acceptance of roadside safety hardware for use on roadway projects in VDOT right of way, along with installation and maintenance are responsibilities handled by VDOT. VDOT review, approval and inclusion on the approved products list is required for devices used within VDOT right of way.
The Location and Design Standards and Special Design Section will review and provide an approval or denial of all roadside safety hardware.

These items include:

  • W-beam guardrail
  • W-beam guardrail terminals
  • Cable guardrail
  • Roadway concrete barriers (temporary and permanent)
  • Steel barriers (temporary) – As an alternative to temporary concrete barrier
  • Fixed object attachments (FOA’s)
  • Impact attenuators/ crash cushions (temporary and permanent)
  • All other related proprietary or generic roadway barriers or terminals.

VDOT requires all roadside safety hardware to have completed crash testing at an approved ISO 17025, laboratory when installed within VDOT right of way. Crash testing will be done in accordance with the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH 2016).
An FHWA eligibility letter will not be the sole basis for VDOT determination of crashworthiness.
In addition to the required MASH 2016 testing VDOT considers installation and maintenance requirements, climate considerations, device availability, and in-service performance data in determining what roadside safety hardware to approve for use on roadway projects.
The Virginia Department of Transportation reserves the right to modify or revoke the acceptance of any product or component at any time.  

For more information contact:     

Charles Patterson, P.E.
Standards/Special Design Section Manager
VDOT - Location & Design Division
1401 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219

Page last modified: Nov. 13, 2023