Safecote deicing additive
Having spoken to both TRL and Safecote themselves it appears
that aggressive lobbying tactics by a number of online discussion/lobby groups
and the posting of a somewhat misguided press release on the
have generated a large volume of almost certainly unfounded concerns regarding
the Safecote product producing low friction on treated roads and spawned
many unnecessary letters & emails to councilors and County Council highways
Safespeed.org.uk have issued a correcting press release:
Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign
(www.safespeed.org.uk) said: "Widespread reports of low grip conditions
remain a serious issue of public safety. Recent information means that we
can effectively eliminate molasses, but the cause remains a mystery. It is
both urgent and important that an investigation is carried out to determine
the true cause of exceptional and dangerous conditions."
From Safecote themselves:
"Safecote is NOT used as a neat product anywhere in the UK. It is used
as an additive to De-Icing salt at the rate of only 3% by weight. This
type of de-icing product is being used on less than 5% of the UK's
highways and the Transport Research Laboratory has fully tested
the skid resistance properties of normal rock salt versus rock salt
with 3% of Safecote and no difference was detected. This report is
downloadable on our website."
From my dialogue with Safecote it appears 95% of the cases raised with them
of deicing treatments relating to reduced surface friction concerned locations
not even treated with deicer with Safecote added....
with no evidence on the other 5% to suggest it did there either!
This does not say that ANY deicing treatment might not possibly
have SOME retrograde effect on skid resistance!!!!!!
THIS IS UNDER INVESTIGATION and it would be scientifically unwise
to rule out the potential for this to happen
TRL are about to start testing the skid resistance of different de-icer
materials as part of their research programme for the National Salt
Spreading Research Group (NSSRG) and the work is high priority. They
expect to have some useful results in six months. (Contact Marilyn Burtwell
Tel: 01344 770214 email: [log in to unmask])
Though the true effect of the de-icing materials on skid resistance
is under investigation the misinformed allegations circulating
over the last few months relating to ONE DEICING ADDITIVE need to be addressed
and corrected as they are both unsubstantiated and commercially damaging!
I hope this resolves the mis-mash of communications that I have been privy to
over the last few days...nothing worse than bad science combined with the
rumour mill to spoil your day! ... bring on the REAL SCIENCE.....!
Safecote may be contacted via their website
John C Bullas
I am not affiliated to either TRL or Safecote