With more than 700 people killed in road accidents each day in China according to the World Health Organization, the country is facing a critical traffic challenge. Although there are many factors that are behind this as road infrastructure, driver behaviour, vehicles, etc., improving road navigation is a rather simple step road authorities can implement on a national scale.
High-quality line markings have been proven to have a substantial impact on decreasing traffic accidents by providing drivers with better road visibility and guidance during day and night time as well as in rainy weather conditions. Overall, they are a cost-efficient solution that can help increase traffic safety on all types of roads.
High-quality thermoplastic markings make an entrance in China
In 2018 we have organized a series of events around China in collaboration with 3M that has the aim of encouraging the use of both flat and profiled high-quality thermoplastic markings on Chinese roads. The events started in Nanning, the capital of Guangxi province, and continued 350 km away in Luzhai with more to follow.
The events consisted of both seminars presenting how this type of line markings can help improve traffic guidance & safety, as well as live demos of a Borum line marking machine applying various thermoplastic flat lines and profiled marking patterns in selected locations. Furthermore, 3M introduced their reflective elements designed for increased visibility of lines during rainy conditions by maintaining high retro-reflection levels when submerged under water.
The demo showcased various patterns of thermoplastic lines, including profiled markings in selected locations, that have proven improved road guidence in various light and rainy conditions.
With more than 150 guests from road authorities, government agencies, road maintenance contractors, and traffic police, the events are off to a good start and show immense potential for efforts being taken in this direction.
To sum up, there was a common opinion that it is time to upgrade road markings at a national level as it will be highly beneficial for traffic safety.
STRAIGHTFORWARD LINE MARKING
During some of the demos, the Borum machine also demonstrated examples of profiled markings. Due to the technology and design of the machine's line marking equipment, this was able to be done quickly, in one run.
The machine's thermoplastic extruder equipment is constructed from an assembly of shutters (openings) - think LEGO blocks - which make it possible for such patterns to be applied and switched between without the need of other additional equipment or mechanical changes.
The process is digitally controlled from the machine's control unit, the LineMaster computer. The easy and fast change between patterns is possible thanks to the LineMaster computer, which can individually control the equipment's shutters.
Overall, the machine and equipment are designed to make the application process straightforward and ensure minimum timeout. This can facilitate a speedy implementation of profiled road marking at a large scale and help authorities with accelerating their efforts in improving road safety.
PROFILED ROAD MARKINGS - THE KEY TO IMPROVED ROAD NAVIGATION
Not all lines are the same! Therefore, it is important to know the differences in order to ensure the best outcome.
Flat lines are applied in the form of a continuous or interrupted fully covered line in up 2 mm in thickness.
Profiled markings (also called structured or audible markings) have a part of the surface raised over the road level. This feature offers various advantages as high visibility in wet conditions and at night that lead to increased road safety.
Profiled markings have become the new norm in a majority of European countries and they are have also been making an entrance in the US and African countries in the past 5 years.
See in the video below how flat lines and profiled lines compare in terms of visibility at night time and during rain conditions. You will be surprised by the difference!
HIGH VISIBILITY DURING RAINY WEATHER
The drainage effect of the profiled markings ensures that rainwater will easily drain away from the lines. As a result, the lines are able to maintain high reflective values in rainy weather. This is possible thanks to the structure that allows the water to drain.
HIGH LINE VISIBILITY AT NIGHT TIME
Due to their shape and vertical walls, as well as the possibility of pre-mixing glass beads, profiled lines have a higher retro-reflective level compared to flat lines. This increases the visibility in poorly illuminated areas and during night time.
NOISE ALERT TO AVOID RUN-OFF-ROAD COLLISIONS
Furthermore, the profiled nature of the road marking produces a noise when driven over that will warn the driver against driving off the road. Therefore, profiled markings are often used on roads with high traffic and low night visibility as highways and motorways.
With more demos and seminars to follow, we hope to see a rapid start in the application of high-quality road markings on Chinese roads! The benefits of such line types have been proven repeatedly in many countries around the world. Therefore, we believe this can play an important role in decreasing road accidents and generally increasing traffic safety in China.