Photoluminescent linemarking could reduce night-time and low-light crashes along Australia’s rural and country roads. With road lighting for intersections and road sections unaffordable and impractical at most locations, photoluminescent linemarking is a more cost-effective and emission free solution that will provide many of the same benefits.

Safety Path and OmniGrip Direct have applied photoluminescent linemarking paint at a demonstration site, to show the day and night effectiveness of paint that is photoluminescent. At night, even with ambient light from adjoining sites, the photoluminescent lines are clear. The headlights of each vehicle that uses the car park or a road with photoluminescent lines will boost its brightness.

Car park bay painted using Safety Path's photoluminescent linemarking paint.
Safety Path’s photoluminescent linemarking increases the night-time visibility of car park bays and aisles.

Crash reduction factors

Crash reduction factors are important for road safety engineers to estimate the benefit of road safety treatments when evaluating road safety options. Introducing street lighting reduces night-time crashes by 30-50% (Austroads ST1571 National Risk Assessment Model, 2011 and Austroads Road Safety Engineering Toolkit). Introducing linemarking reduces all crashes by 10-25% (VicRoads estimate, and Austroads Road Safety Engineering Toolkit). With photoluminescent linemarking for edge and centrelines, all the benefits of linemarking will be achieved with many of the benefits of street lighting as well.

Benefits of photoluminescent linemarking

Road segments

The road safety and environmental benefits of mid-block photoluminescent lines along roads are:

  • the road alignment is clearly delineated, with edge and centre lines guiding drivers. In particular, on bends along winding roads, guidance is provided beyond the reach of each vehicles’ headlights
  • photoluminescent paint can be used on kerbs and other roadside hazards to improve their visibility
  • there are no roadside light poles, to create a new roadside hazard
  • no emissions from its operation
  • reduced operating costs compared to street lighting
  • it can be applied where electric lighting is too expensive; for example, locations remote from a suitable supply of electricity
  • the headlights of each passing vehicle recharge the photoluminescence.

Road and highway intersections

The road safety and environmental benefits of photoluminescent lines at road and highway intersections are:

  • the visibility of the intersection is improved. This includes its layout if the linemarking paint is used to highlight raised islands, painted islands, painted chevrons, pedestrian crossings and pavement markings
  • there are no roadside light poles to create a new roadside hazard
  • no emissions from its operation
  • reduced operating costs compared to street lighting
  • it can be applied where electric lighting is too expensive; for example, locations remote from a suitable supply of electricity
  • the headlights of each passing vehicle recharge the photoluminescence.

Car parks and rest areas

In car parks and roadside parking bays, the safety and environmental benefits of photoluminescent lines are:

  • improved visibility of bays, aisles and pedestrian crossings, which improves wayfinding for users of the car park when they are searching for a space, or walking to and from their car. Traditional linemarking paint can be difficult to discern on some surfaces in car parks.
  • no emissions from its operation, improving wayfinding through the car park or roadside parking bay with no additional electricity costs.

Improving the risk rating of rural highways with photoluminescent linemarking

For Australian State Road Authorities and Local Governments (members of Austroads), risk rating their road network is an important tool for identifying and planning road safety treatments. ANRAM and AusRAP are important tools for developing a safer road investment plan.

Where there is a history or risk of night-time crashes, use of treatments like photoluminescent linemarking and pavement marking may reduce the risk profile of a route and deliver reductions in serious injuries and deaths. Tools like ANRAM and AusRAP assess the features and crash history of a road. Where there’s night-time crashes they may recommend street lighting, which can be impractical along Australia’s rural highway network. In those cases, road safety engineers should consider the benefits of photoluminescent linemarking and photoluminescent pavement marking.

More information

If you are a road manager or facility manager interested in how photoluminescent linemarking paint can improve safety and wayfinding along your roads and in your car parks or rest areas, then please contact Darren or Aaron at OmniGrip Direct on 1300 961 678.

OmniGrip Direct and Safety Path are divisions of SmarterLite.