A survey into the quality of road safety markings on Britain’s roads

  • Published: Road Safety Markings Association, 2011
  • Authors: Road Safety Markings Association
  • Date Added: 07 Feb 2013
  • Last Update: 20 Mar 2013
  • Format: doc


Ninth national investigation conducted by the RSMA into the quality of road safety markings. The objective is to survey and monitor the quality and maintenance of safety markings to see if minimum standards are being met and whether the most cost-effective road safety measure is being applied and maintained adequately to save lives.


Road safety markings were surveyed using the Ecodyn System, which measures the reflectivity of centre and lane lines. Ecodyn is installed on a specially equipped vehicle and includes measurement equipment fitted to the outside of the vehicle. The findings relate to site surveys carried out in the autumn of 2010. The survey covers a total of 2,462km of roads.

Key Findings:

  • Britain’s most dangerous roads are rural single-carriageway A-roads, where two-thirds of all road deaths and serious injury RTIs take place.

  • Road users need guidance to tell them what is coming next and where to position the car. Roads without centre lines are like roads without signs: without them, drivers lose vital information to guide them safely.

  • There is a correlation between the quality of the centre lines and the number of deaths and serious injuries.

  • On more than 60 of the single-carriageway A-roads surveyed, totalling more than 1,000 miles, on average 14 per cent of road markings are completely worn out; and 29 per cent fall into the “amber” zone and should be scheduled for replacement. Just 29 per cent of lines reach the acceptable level of visibility.

  • Road markings in one in five sections of major A-roads and motorways fall below the minimum specifiable standard and should be scheduled for replacement while eight per cent have centre line markings so worn that they are barely visible.

  • An amendment to the Specification for Highways Works (SHW) to promote the use of higher specification materials laid 150mm wide is recommended.


Markings, quality, safety, RTIs


Fairly robust document produced by an industry body. Statements based on primary research.

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