Pavement Marking

Pavement Marking

Pavement Marking

In a report developed by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), it was recommended that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) establish plans to “better manage” initiatives and efforts related to Connected Automated Vehicles (CAVs). GAO officials state within the report, which was released in November 2017, that their reasoning behind the research efforts are based on the potential promise of CAVs to provide transformative safety and mobility benefits, but these benefits also will come with a set of safety and infrastructure challenges for policymakers.

While it also was noted that other components such as urban versus rural settings and local ownership of roadways will play a hand in infrastructure adaptations, many experts in automation and infrastructure back up the report’s claims, and assert that consistent and proper maintenance of the current roadway system is of the upmost importance for conventional and AV motorists — especially when it comes to pavement markings.

ATSSA has a dedicated group of members on its Pavement Marking Committee (member login required), who are working to assert the proper maintenance of pavement marking and advance technologies being developed to help increase safety benefits and accommodation of CAVs. The committee has developed a list of policies and continues to work toward advancing the collaboration between the roadway safety industry and automakers as America progresses toward an automated future.


Erica Terrini
/ Categories: Pavement Marking

ATSSA Pavement Marking Policy Positions

The following are ATSSA's positions on pavement marking policies:
• Either interim or permanent full compliance pavement markings should be applied by the end of each working day.
• During work zone construction, all roadways should be marked to provide the safest possible guidance and information for the safety of the pedestrian, motorist and construction worker.
• Pavement markings should be visible in all weather conditions. ATSSA encourages states and local jurisdictions to develop and utilize a pavement marking management system which implements markings that are visible in all conditions, day and night.
• Implement an all-white marking system. ATSSA recommends that field testing be conducted in order to measure driver response to an all-white marking system and to develop a unique marking pattern which will enable drivers to readily identify whether a two-lane roadway centerline separates one-way or two-way traffic.
• Increased use of durable pavement marking systems that are effective throughout the entire year is encouraged. ATSSA also encourages agencies to implement pavement marking management systems that will optimize material selection and will track associated life cycle costs.
• State and local agencies are urged to develop performance standards for pavement markings that recognize local climatic conditions; establish programs that continually monitor compliance with applicable standards; optimize use of more durable materials, wherever possible, for year-round delineation; and join with ATSSA to petition the Federal
• ATSSA strongly supports the work of the FHWA to establish a national minimum standard for the retroreflectivity of pavement markings. ATSSA agrees that the standard should consider the varying roadway categories, roadway features, and climatic conditions throughout the United States.
• Specific pavement marking materials should be environmentally safe. The FHWA and other federal and state agencies are urged to adopt the Coalition of Northeastern Governors’ guidelines, dated December 14, 1989, which specifically name lead, hexavalent chromium, cadmium, and mercury as those heavy metals that are hazardous and should not be included in specifications for pavement marking materials. ATSSA also urges the FHWA and other federal and state agencies to adopt the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines for reportable volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which specifically limit the reportable VOCs in traffic marking materials to 150 grams per liter. These guidelines should be followed when issuing pavement marking material specifications.
• State and local governments which currently do not use strict guidelines should adopt guidelines for minimum standards and specifications for the application of pavement markings. There is a current need to upgrade equipment and train personnel in specification enforcement and to create programs within the agencies that will allow for consistent and ongoing inspection of pavement markings.
• ATSSA endorses the recent FHWA decision to allow the use of guaranty and warranty clauses for pavement markings on federal aid highway construction projects and strongly encourages state and local agencies to develop and implement standards to be used in warranty contracts based on a best bid and lifecycle cost basis. States should require inspection by trained inspectors, with the inspections to be done at the appropriate time depending on the type of material used.
• An hours of service exemption should be granted to the pavement marking industry just as the NHS legislation has granted an exemption for drivers transporting construction materials and equipment. The exemption should provide for a period of seven or eight days to end with the beginning of an off-duty period of 24 or more consecutive hours for the purposes of determining maximum driving and on-duty time.
• State and local jurisdictions are encouraged to set aside adequate funding to ensure effective markings throughout the road system. State and local agencies are also encouraged to create a pavement marking advisory committee of private and public members to ensure the proper expenditure of funds for pavement markings; facilitate the knowledge of pavement markings; and create a field of expertise for pavement markings. State and local government funding for improved inspection and performance specification enforcement should be increased.
• It is ATSSA’s position that agencies should employ the use of wider lines in locations where there are roadway geometric deficiencies or where significant lane excursions exist. Secondly, ATSSA strongly recommends that research be done to review the benefits that are derived from existing wider line installations, to determine which roadway conditions could most benefit from wider lines, to study the requirements of the driver with vision difficulties and to evaluate the cost-benefit ratios of wider lines in these areas.

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