ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Trial and evaluation of internally illuminated pavement markers

Styles, Tanya

Road Environment

2003

Pavement markers which self-activate in response to environmental conditions are one of the newer technologies being applied in efforts to promote the safety of road users. Self-activated pavement markers are designed to provide enhanced road delineation in the event of wet weather, fading light, or ice formation by means of a solar powered LED. VicRoads undertook to trial self-activated pavement markers at various sites around Victoria, and commissioned ARRB Transport Research to conduct an evaluation study to proceed along with the trial. Three aspects of the performance of the self-activated pavement markers were assessed. First, laboratory tests were used to determine the consistency of the markers? on-off thresholds in response to fading light, fog, and low temperatures. Second, the "in service" performance of the markers was assessed via inspection of several trial installation sites. Third, the impact of the pavement markers on driver behaviour was measured by means of a "before and after" observational study. A number of conclusions were drawn based upon the results of the study. The on/off threshold of the pavement markers is accurate enough for their purpose and they do appear to encourage drivers to travel more slowly and to place their vehicles further from the centre of the road in some circumstances. Nonetheless, the self-activated pavement markers do not appear to be sufficiently robust, being susceptible to theft, vandalism, and damage by traffic.