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arrester bed

an area on the side of a road, filled with soft sand and gravel, into which a vehicle can drive if the driver is having difficulty braking: We need a crane to get the truck out of the arrester bed. Compare safety ramp. Also, vehicle arrester bed, truck arrester bed.

Contributor's comments: Arrester Beds are used to stop heavy vehicles (ie semi trailers) and are usually located on steep or long downhill sections of road.

Contributor's comments: In NSW arrester beds are known as safety ramps.

Contributor's comments: [Brisbane informant] Any slip lane running off and slightly uphill from a steep downhill stretch is a safety lane (or safety ramp). It is known as an arrester bed when it terminates in deep soft sand, to prevent a brakeless truck from rolling back down on to the highway it just left.

Contributor's comments: Known abroad as "runaway exits".

Contributor's comments: I think the first arrester bed in Perth was built in 1994 after a truck lost it brakes at the top of Greenmount hill (near where I lived) and finally rolled when it got to Roe Hwy - 2-3km away at least. There was grain all over the intersection for ages.
safety ramp

a sharply rising side track leading off a roadway with a steep downgrade, and intended to be used to bring a vehicle to an emergency stop in the event of brake failure: The truck hit the safety ramp doing about 160 kpm! Compare arrester bed.

Contributor's comments: In NSW arrester beds are known as safety ramps.