Signing and Marking

Signing and Marking

How Effective?

  • A major improvement scheme carried out in 2000 on Kensington High Street (London) included the simplification of road markings and the removal of street clutter and unnecessary signs. Before and after studies have found that there was a 48.6 per cent annual reduction in total RTIs (compared to a 37.2 per cent reduction for the borough on average). The highest reduction was seen in RTIs involving pedestrians and motorcyclists.

  • A trial in Bury St. Edmunds to reduce the visual intrusion of traffic signs found that as a result, traffic flow reduced by 13 per cent and the 85th percentile speed reduced by 2 mph to 20 mph.

  • A trial in the village of Starston in Norfolk found that the removal of central white lines reduced average speeds by 7 mph. A similar study in Wiltshire showed a 35 per cent reduction in RTIs and a 5 mph reduction in average speeds.

(A. Quimby and J. Castle, 2006)

  • Trials show that at standard roundabouts there was a 28 per cent decrease in total RTIs after the installation of signals There were significant casualty reductions in most categories, with the largest reduction seen in RTIs involving a pedal cycle which reduced by 80 per cent.

(TfL, 2005)

  • Durham County Council have undertaken extensive improvement work to junction layouts throughout the county. This includes enhanced road marking to improve layout clarity. These improvements have seen a 50 per cent reduction in RTIs and a reduction of speed in the 85th percentile.

  • Throughout the 1970s and 1980s several studies were undertaken to identify whether the use of edge lines on rural UK roads reduced the level of night-time RTIs. In East Sussex a 22 per cent reduction in total RTIs was seen following edge line application, with a 13 per cent reduction seen in South Yorkshire.

(RSMA, 2007)

Gaps in the research

  • Signage may contribute to driver distraction, but the extent to which this is so and the types of signs that are potential problems are uncertain. There is a need for further research to understand the role of signs in distracting drivers.

(Parliament of Victoria Road Safety Committee, 2006)

  • Estimates of the role of driver distraction in RTI causation can vary widely due to the lack of a standardised definition and inconsistencies in RTI reporting.

(D. Basacik and A. Stevens, October 2008)

  • Most research into external driver distraction originates in the USA or Australia. It is recommended that further research is carried out in the UK.

(B. Wallace, 2003)

  • The OECD recommends that the gathering and processing of RTI data is improved so that, on a comparable basis, the causes and impacts of RTIs can be accurately identified and adequate measures taken and subsequently evaluated, particularly from the standpoint of cost-effectiveness.

(OECD and ECMT Road Safety Group, 2009)

  • There is research pointing to the effectiveness of warning signs in reducing RTIs but there is a distinct lack of research on the effectiveness of regulatory and guidance signs.

(CTC & Associates LLC, 2010) 

  • There is a lack of research into white lining on road works scenarios and their impact of RTIs (i.e. through causing driver confusion).

  • The impact of age and driver experience on distraction and problems in dealing with information overload has not yet undergone significant investigation.

  • There is a lack of research on the potential for simplified schemes to lead to some motorists abusing the lack of signs and instructions, for example, by speeding or ignoring priority norms.

  • Date Added: 03 Apr 2012, 08:08 AM
  • Last Update: 03 May 2013, 02:33 PM