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Photoluminescent Road Markings in Australia

Experimental Implementation of Photoluminescent Road Markings in Australia for Enhanced Night-time Driving Safety

An Australian company is in the process of trialling photoluminescent markings on road surfaces, employing the same principles found in luminescent children’s stickers and toys, to enhance night-time driving saftey. Drivers a night often encounter the challenge of scarcely discernible road markings, particularly when road markings have diminished due to wear or have been freshly applied.

In response to this issue, experimental trials are being conducted in Australia using the photoluminescent paint compound, akin to the luminescent material found in the hands of tactical timepieces, allowing them to be illuminated during low-light conditions.

Image sourced from https://www.facebook.com/linemarkingeastgippsland/
Image sourced from https://www.facebook.com/linemarkingeastgippsland/

Several roads in the state of Victoria are undergoing treatment with this specially formulated paint, at an expenditure to taxpayers of approximately AUD $4 million (USD $2.82 million). The implementation of these luminescent markings is anticipated to assist motorists in maintaining proper lane discipline and improving reaction to curves and junctions, especially for those unfamiliar with the local road configuration.

The glow-in-the-dark lines are a component of three treatment initiatives being spearheaded by Tarmac Linemarking, as part of the state’s ‘Innovation Package’.

The second treatment approach consists of employing road markings with increased reflectivity. This enhancement is realised by incorporating denser glass beads and thermoplastic into the paint mixture, though this method does not induce luminescence.

The third strategy involves the integration of LED tactile paving at controlled pedestrian crossings, with LEDs mirroring the colouration of the traffic signals, thus augmenting visibility for pedestrians who may be preoccupied with handheld devices.

While these photoluminescent lines present a novel approach to road safety, they have not been without detractors. Initial concerns have been raised regarding potential financial inefficiencies, due to the anticipated frequent need for reapplication. Additionally, fears have surfaced about the possible incorporation of harmful or radioactive materials within the paint compound. Lastly, some critics have posited that the lines may present a novel hazard, with drivers potentially being tempted to deactivate their headlights to observe the luminescence, consequently compromising road safety.