'Great' new feature being trialled on Aussie road: 'Pretty smart'

A major change to Aussie highways could be on the cards with a trial underway in Victoria to test glow-in-the-dark road lines.

Testing its long-term effectiveness, the Victorian government hopes it will provide drivers with a stronger visual signal to follow in low light.

"This treatment will make it easier for drivers to see the line markings or signage and provide stronger definition coming up to intersections and curves, giving drivers more time to react and preventing them from veering from their lane," Regional Victoria Roads said on their website.

The luminescent lines on Victoria roads.
Australian company Tarmac Linemarking has teamed up with the Victorian Government to trial glow-in-the-dark road lines. Source: Facebook / Tarmac Linemarking

"This will be particularly beneficial for people who are not familiar with driving through the area."

The high reflectivity paint used apparently stays brighter for longer and is more durable.

How do they work?

The road lines use photoluminescence to emit light that has been absorbed during the day.

As part of the trial, the line markings were added to a 1km section of Metong Road in the state's south-east in May by Tarmac Linemarking, in collaboration with OmniGrip and Vic Roads.

Aussie react to glow-in-the-dark roads

Many drivers have taken to social media to praise the new feature.

"Okay, that's actually pretty smart," one person said on Reddit.

"Feels like this should’ve been everywhere decades ago," another wrote.

However, some people weren't convinced the glow-in-the-dark lighting would last.

"I can't see it lasting the whole night," one Reddit user said.

"It is possible, but making it last that long and be bright enough to be usable is a challenge," another added.

"Retroreflective paint will always be brighter than what the headlights illuminate around it, while this will be washed out by the headlights, resulting in the opposite of the desired effects," a third person wrote.

A photo on the Tarmac Linemarking Facebook showing the glow-in-the-dark lines.
The line markings were added to a 1km section of Metong Road in the state's south-east in May. Source: Facebook/Tarmac Linemarking

Tarmac Linemarking's John Emanuelli told that while overcast days may affect the light’s longevity, the lines should last "most of the night" after sunny days.

He says he has since received a lot of interest from businesses and councils.

"It’s a great product," he said.

He also said there were plenty of other applications for the technology, such as dark carparks, or boat ramps.

The project is part of a new $4 million road safety package that will "install new innovative treatments at 70 locations across regional Victoria to improve delineation for motorists and pedestrians," Regional Roads Victoria said.

Frequent fatal accidents in regional Victoria

According to the Transport Accident Commission, half of all lives lost in 2018 on Victorian roads occurred in regional Victoria, despite only 24 per cent of the population living outside the metropolitan area.

“These roads make up a small percentage of Victoria’s overall road network but are well overrepresented in terms of fatal and serious injury crashes," Regional Roads Australia said on their website.

Government data also shows that between January 2015 and December 2019, nearly half the deaths recorded on Victoria’s roads happened on roads with high speeds between 100km/h and 110km/h.

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