The Road Safety Marking Association (RSMA), recently provided a frightening report. They pointed out that some two-thirds of all UK road deaths and serious injuries are on rural A-roads. It claims that from more than 60 single carriageway A-roads surveyed, on average 14% of road markings were completely worn out on . This totals more than 1,600km. In addition, a further 15% fell into the ‘amber’ zone. Therefore these should be scheduled for replacement immediately.
Furthermore, The RMSA claims that Just 29% of lines reach the acceptable level of visibility. The quality of markings on major A-roads is in line with those on motorways. The RSMA claims, of the 750km-plus of A-roads and motorways surveyed, one in five fell below the minimum specifiable standard. Again, these should be scheduled for replacement. Worryingly 8% have centre line markings so worn that they are barely visible.
Statement by George Lee, national director of the RSMA
“Two years ago, just 2% of our major road network had markings that rated virtually non-existent. This figure has risen at an alarming rate says George Lee, National Director of RMSA. “Now, nearly a tenth of the centre lines on our trade routes are dangerously worn,” says George Lee, national director of the RSMA. “The high risk of head-on collisions on single carriageways means centre line markings are critically important to guide road-users safely on these roads. Road markings provide the best, most simple navigation aid to drivers, who must to be able to ‘read’ the road at every turn. Without this most modest of investments, motorists are driving blind when we can, in fact, save lives for the cost of a pot of paint.”
Road markings are measured on their retroreflectivity. A rating of 150mcd (millicandelas) is the level recommended by the industry in the UK. This is with road markings materials available that ensure markings remain clearly visible, even at night in wet conditions, says the RSMA.
Under a UK Highways Agency standard, if the quality of markings falls below 100mcd, they should be scheduled for replacement. If the quality rates below 80mcd, they will require replacing immediately. Self Adhesive Reflective Road Lines from Promain offers the ideal solution. Whether this picture is being repeated elsewhere remains to be seen. Despite the RSMA’s worrying statistics, much is being done. As road marking materials and associated manufacturers make sure products are up to scratch when it comes to markings.
For example, a road once noted for its poor safety record has been re-categorised. It has gone from a medium-high risk-rated road in 2004-2006, to a low-medium risk-rated road in 2007-2009. It is rated the most improved UK road by EuroRAP (European Road Assessment Programme) in its current tenth annual report, Simple Measures Save Lives.