Importance of harmonization of pavement markings

Pavement markings are a significant part of safe road infrastructure. In recent years the industry has taken the initiative to enhance road safety through various methods like harmonization of pavement markings, development and implementation of national standards, balancing of tender specifications to promote innovation and promote safety measures for road markers.  

In an effort to underline the importance of uniform road markings across Australia, Austroads has published a new report based on the research conducted by ARRB. This report is based on the project that was undertaken to develop national criteria for pavement markings wherever practicable. The project involved a survey of the current practices followed by different road agencies and an analysis of the current Australian standards. These were then compared to determine a preferred approach towards the development of national specifications for pavement markings.

Research findings revealed that there were considerable variations in road agency practices w.r.t the types and widths of longitudinal and transverse line marking and other pavement markings. Many agencies did not comply with Australian Standard AS 1742.2:2009. Also, automated vehicles are not considered in the existing practices. Hence, there was a strong need to develop a harmonised and performance based design criteria for pavement markings and specifications. 

Road users always appreciate good and harmonised pavement markings. They are essential for the comfortable, safe and efficient operation of Australia’s road network. The project focused on harmonisation of the specifications and widths of stop lines, give-way lines, turns, pedestrian crosswalk lines, dividing lines for multi-lane roads, tram lines, pavement arrows, pavement letters, audio-tactile line markings(ATLM) and wide centreline treatments. 

Along with recommendations for improvement, the Austroads report also acknowledged the challenges to achieve a national specification. The differences in terminology and in line types used in various states were identified as key barriers. Another challenge identified was the lack of resources to implement ATLM across Australia. 

This project has acknowledged that all road agencies may not be in a position to follow the specifications proposed in this project. They may have warranted reasons to deviate from certain specifications. Such agencies are permitted to develop their own supplementary policies provided the road agencies keep the responsible local councils are fully informed of the specifications that they adopt.

Finally, rather than a single national specification across the states, this project has focused on developing a series of clauses for the provision and maintenance of line markings. The RAPMG is working to update standards like the AS 1742.2:2009.  They have mandated further investigation on how to maintain thermoplastic ATLM to improve on-road performance. New standards have to be developed for audio-tactile line markings and wide-centreline treatments to specify the shape of the ribs, line widths, line types and location of these lines. These standards would help the widespread adoption and harmonisation of audio-tactile line markings and wide-centreline treatments throughout Australia. 

For more details refer to the full report: AP-578-18_Harmonisation_of_Pavement_Markings_and_National_Pavement_Marking_Specification.pdf

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *