Road Safety Innovation Fund Grant for Safety Path
Road signs and road line marking that are easier to see in the dark, will be an outcome of an Australian Government grant to innovative Victorian company SmarterLite.
SmarterLite’s Safety Path Division was one of only four companies to receive an innovation grant from Round 1 of the Australian Government’s Road Safety Innovation Fund (RSIF). The grant is for research to further improve the use of Safety Path’s photoluminescent materials in road linemarking, pavement markings and road signs, to improve night-time road safety.
In total, thirteen grants were awarded, with the remainder being to Australian Universities and Government bodies.
Mr Zoran Ovuka, SmarterLite’s Chief Technology Officer said, “We’re delighted to receive this support from the Australian Government, which will support our continuing research and development program. For nearly 20 years we’ve been researching and developing the highest-performing photoluminescence in the world, and using it to fix safety issues in buildings.
“Safety Path photoluminescent materials were developed to meet the requirements of the National Construction Code for heavily regulated Exit Signs. Safety Path battery-free environmental exit signs, as well as photoluminescent warning signs and linemarking, are already used in buildings, industrial facilities and car parks to assist people when electric lights and backup batteries fail.
“In a road environment, we have developed road warning signs that are both photoluminescent and reflective – so they emit their own stored light but also reflect headlights like normal road signs. We’ve also made road line-marking paint that emits stored daylight, increasing its visibility. “
The Australian Government’s research grant will enable us to further extend the duration and brightness of lines and signs, well beyond that required for other applications.”
Data from the Australian Road Deaths Database shows that 38% of annual road deaths are at night, and in the early months of 2020 it was 43% of fatalities. In the last decade, an average of 124 people have died each year on Australian roads at night. In that period the annual average was 26 lives lost on local roads.
However, electric road lighting is incredibly expensive to install, expensive to operate and creates additional road safety problems. Darren Scerri, Chief Executive of SmarterLite’s OmniGrip Direct division, explained, “With the extent of Australia’s road network, road lighting is unaffordable for most road managers, particularly on local roads and in regional areas. The added complication is that every light pole becomes a new roadside hazard, requiring a special safety pole or a roadside barrier to reduce the severity of a crash should it be hit by an out-of-control vehicle.
“This exciting innovation means road managers can make signs and lines that warn drivers and riders of hazards more visible, but without the expense and complications of installing road lighting. They are ideal for use at high-risk locations with low levels of ambient light, such as regional roads”, Scerri said.
Dave Jones, Director External Affairs
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0410 414 665.
SmarterLite Pty Ltd provides innovate technology for safety in transport and buildings. Safety Path, OmniGrip Direct and Vivacity are divisions of SmarterLite.
Safety Path supplies innovative electricity-free, battery-free, emission-free environmental lighting for buildings, roads and the transport sector using Australian-developed photoluminescent technology. Safety Path has been developing its world-leading photoluminescent technology for nearly 20 years.
OmniGrip Direct provides innovative safety technology and the supply of specialist surfacing for the highway, building and construction industries. OmniGrip Direct installs Safety Path technology for road managers.