European Road Federation recommends minimum standard for road marking retroreflectivity

We are delighted that, as a key player in the road industry, the European Road Federation (ERF) has recommended a minimum standard of retroreflectivity for road markings in Europe. We regard this as a significant development and one which will be key in moving towards safer road networks across Europe. This is in line with the USA when in Sept. 2022, the FHWA through the MUTCD introduced minimum retroreflectivity requirements for pavement makings.

It is widely recognised that the quality & good visibility of road markings day & night is key to road safety. The introduction of ADAS on new vehicles aims to increase road safety with lane keep assist and lane departure warning systems. However these systems depend on good visibility of markings on the road surface. With the latest recommendation from the ERF, it is starting to feel like Europe is moving towards minimum standards for pavement marking retroreflectivity. It has been a long time in the making.

Interestingly it wasn’t ADAS that triggered this development within the EU, but instead the proposed European legislation to limit the emissions of secondary microplastics. You can read the full ERF report on road markings and microplastics online. If the 11 page report is too weighty you can read the one page report summary instead. Failing that here’s the key conclusion for you.

“…the proposal from the perspective of road marking industry is to impose high standards on the upkeep of road marking based on Retroreflectivity. Simultaneously, this would be the easiest, the most efficient, and the least expensive method to minimise the emissions of secondary microplastics from road markings to practically nil. To achieve such goal, materials with the longest functional service life should be promoted to minimise carbon footprint and road markings ought to be renewed while they still provide RL>150 mcd/m²/lx, as was postulated by the ERF. Maintaining such retroreflection level would fulfil visual needs of drivers, should lead to increased road safety, and also would improve the performance of advanced driver assistance systems.”

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