While road markings can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to key features that contribute to road safety, Patrick Smith of Motorways of the world reports that they are “as important as signs, with longitudinal markings informing and warning road users of approaching situations that will require them to take some form of action”.
The importance of road markings in the South African context may be even more critical than in other countries, for two reasons: we lack a safe and reliable rail transport system for passengers; and we have an alarming rate of road accidents. In fact, a report by the World Health Organization revealed that the country has at least one million road accidents a year, with an average of 40 people fatally injured and at least 20 permanently disabled every day.
For local road safety authorities and their related industries, a technical report published on February 17, 2022 by City Markings should prove of great interest. The report covers white and yellow water-based road markings on a stretch of road in the North West Province.
In the four years since the application of this road marking paint – i.e. Plascon Aqualine Hysheen Ultra High Performance Road Marking Paint (UTP000001-0200 and UTP000002-0200), which is now Plascon Roadtect 4500 WB – the road in question was subjected to an extremely high level of wear. This is due, in large part, to the movement of quarry trucks, according to the technical report, via heavy vehicles carrying fill for the N4 bypass and an intersection at the western end of the Hartbeespoort dam.
Access to the quarry being on this same stretch of road, the yellow shoulders of the road were subject to particularly heavy traffic. In addition, a large amount of muddy material was deposited on the road lines. This was then washed away by seasonal rains.
After such traffic wear and weather exposure, were there lower retro-reflective readings of the lines? What about daylight visibility related to line clarity? The technical report’s conclusion, illustrated by both retro-reflective readings (measured in millicandela) and photographic visuals, speaks volumes about the performance of this high-caliber paint product on high-traffic road surfaces.
Deon Honiball of City Markings concludes: “We think the performance of the Plascon Roadtect 4500 White and Yellow is very good and speaks for itself, even after
four and a half years on a road subject to heavy quarry traffic. The surface this product was applied to, after all, is a well-worn 15mm Chip&Spray – which normally wears out quickly due to its roughness.“
The conclusion of Honiball? “This product performed as well as any high quality product and perhaps even better than thermoplastics. There is no serious cracking even after all this time and high volume exposure.
According to Plascon Marketing Manager Bavita Valab, “Plascon designed this product to be exceptionally strong and durable. We are happy to see that the technical reports produced on its performance bear witness to this. We are proud to be able to provide this valuable product as an aid to service delivery on public roads. »
The technical report observes that Plascon Roadtect 4500 is designed to provide users with a 30-40% savings in application rate, compared to using thermoplastics on an overused road surface. In short, this long-wearing paint makes roads inherently safer as well as easier and cheaper to maintain. Here is a paint surface that provides the greatest visibility and lowest maintenance costs for our local road infrastructure – proving a significant asset to all parties involved.