Road Safety Is No Accident – The Vital Place Of Markings In The Mix

While road markings may be overlooked from time to time when it comes to the top features that contribute towards road safety, Patrick Smith from World Highways reports that they are “as important as signs, with longitudinal markings informing and warning road users of approaching situations that will require them to take some form of action.”

The importance of road markings within the South African context may be even more critical than in other countries, for two reasons: we lack a safe and reliable rail-transport system for passengers; and we have an alarmingly high road accident rate. In fact, a World Health Organisation report revealed that the country has at least one million road accidents per year, with an average of 40 people being fatally injured and at least 20 being left permanently disabled each day.

For local road-safety authorities and their allied industries, a technical report issued on 17 February 2022 by City Markings is likely to prove of great interest. The report covers water-based white and yellow road markings in a portion of road in the North West Province.

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Over the four years since this road marking paint was applied – that is, Plascon Aqualine Hysheen Ultra High Performance Road Marking Paint (UTP000001-0200 and UTP000002-0200), which is now Plascon Roadtect 4500 WB – the road in question has been subjected to an extremely high level of wear and tear. This has been due, in most part, to quarry truck movement, says the technical report, via heavy vehicles carrying fill for the N4 bypass, and an intersection at the western end of the Hartbeespoort dam.

Because access to the quarry was on this same section of road, the yellow shoulders of the road were subject to particularly heavy traffic. In addition, a large quantity of muddy material was deposited onto the lines of the road. This was later washed away by seasonal rains.

After such traffic wear and weather exposure, were there lower retro-reflective readings of the lines? How about daylight visibility relating to line clarity? The technical report’s conclusion, shown both via retro-reflective readings (measured in millicandela) and photographic visuals, speaks volumes about the performance of this high-calibre paint product on high-trafficked road surfaces.

Deon Honiball of City Markings concludes: “We believe the performance of the Plascon Roadtect 4500 White and Yellow is very good and speaks for itself, even after

four and a half years on a road surface subjected to heavy quarry traffic. The surface on which this product was applied, after all, is a well-worn 15mm Chip&Spray – which normally wears rapidly due to its roughness.“

Honiball’s conclusion? “This product has performed as well as any high-quality product and possibly even better than that of thermo-plastics. There’s no severe cracking – even after all this time and high-volume exposure.”

According to Plascon’s Marketing Manager, Bavita Valab: “Plascon engineered this product to be exceptionally hard-wearing and long-lasting. We are pleased to see that technical reports conducted on its performance are testament to this. We are proud to be able to provide this valuable product as an aid to service delivery on public roads.”

The technical report observes that Plascon Roadtect 4500 is set to secure users a 30 to 40 percent saving in application rate, in comparison to the use of thermo-plastics on an over-used road surface. In short, this long-wearing paint makes roads inherently safer as well as easier and cheaper to maintain. Here’s to a paint surface that offers the highest visibility and lowest maintenance costs for our local road infrastructure – thereby proving a significant asset for all concerned.

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