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Delivering safer roads by applying advanced technologies.

Berces, A

Road Environment

ACRS conference 2011

‘Sign and lines’ are the most basic of road safety infrastructure and yet are sometimes a forgotten necessity when road managers think about improving road safety. In recent years new developments have been made to improve these technologies and increase awareness of their road safety benefits.

The changing driving environment with more aging drivers, altered headlamp performance, complex road scenarios and diverse vehicle sizes, all have their implications on visibility and road safety. Studies show that signs and lines that are acceptable during the day can have a remarkably different appearance at night and in rainy weather conditions.

This paper aims to highlight the cost benefits of improved signage and how new technologies can be applied in the field to improve road safety. The advancements in retroreflective technologies have the potential to deliver major improvements in road safety outcomes and exceed current Australian standards. The RTA have been proactive in trialling new reflective technologies designed to increase sign visibility for motorists and introduced a new specification above the current Australian standard to apply these new technologies in practice. These best practice examples demonstrate increased safety.

Furthermore, current pavement markings will be reviewed and the factors affecting line deterioration. Special attention is given to wet visibility and cost benefit calculations to assess what solutions offer the optimum fit for diverse traffic conditions.

Road users mainly rely on road authorities to be more assertive at exploring the increased safety and financial benefits in implementing new technologies.