Retroreflectivity describes the ability of a surface to return light to its source. Retroreflectivity is one technology used to enhance the readability and perception of information displayed in low-light and night-time conditions.
The transport industry recognizes that legible traffic signs and quality pavement markings are important for highway safety, especially in low-light conditions and at night.
The retroreflectivity of traffic signs, pavement markings and reflective pavement markings (RPMs) / road studs provides positive visual guidance to assist driver’s awareness of lanes and road edges. They provide critical warning, timely location and other information to drivers. The retroreflectivity of signs and road markings is critical to a safer road environment.
As effectiveness of retroreflective materials tends to deteriorate over time, regular maintenance is important. Signs and road markings lose their colour, legibility, and retroreflectivity as a result of corrosion caused by exhaust fumes and industrial pollution, erosion caused by vehicle tyres, sun exposure, dirt, ice and wind. Regular inspection and measurement ensures that minimum acceptable standards are maintained.