Retroreflective Luminance of Pavement Markings

A continuing interest among road authorities to improve highway safety has led to efforts to improve wet-night visibility of pavement markings, including a new ASTM International standard.

E2832, Test Method for Measuring the Coefficient of Retroreflected Luminance of Pavement Markings in a Standard Condition of Continuous Wetting (RL-2), was developed by Subcommittee E12.10 on Retroreflection, part of ASTM International Committee E12 on Color and Appearance.

"New pavement marking systems are constantly being developed with hopes of improved visibility during nighttime rain conditions," says Paul Carlson, research engineer, Texas Transportation Institute, Texas A&M University. "As these systems have evolved and visibility under wet nighttime conditions has improved, it was becoming evident that the metric used to assess the pavement marking's wet-night performance was in need of an update."

Carlson says that the new standard will be used by agencies that write specifications, contractors who need to adhere to them and manufacturers looking to develop innovative products that work under rainy conditions.

"Traditionally, the most challenging condition to provide adequate visibility for the nighttime road user is raining conditions," says Paul Carlson, a member of E12.10. "This new test method gives agencies a standardized way to assess the performance of pavement marking materials/optics under conditions of nighttime and rain. Now agencies can specify the performance they desire in an effort to make the roads safer under all conditions."

All interested parties, particularly from public agencies, are welcome to join in the standards developing activities of E12.10.

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CONTACT Technical Information: Paul Carlson, Texas Transportation Institute • College Station, Texas • Phone: 979-845-6004 | ASTM Staff: Thomas O'Toole • Phone: 610-832-9739 | Upcoming Meeting: Jan. 30-31, 2013 • January Committee Week • Jacksonville, Fla.

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