Webinar Pavement Marking Retroreflectivity Measurement

DOT progress on Pavement Marking Retroreflectivity Measurement

In our recent DOT focused webinar on ‘Pavement Marking Retroreflectivity Measurement & Data Management: the route to MUTCD compliance’ we had 163 registrations from 43 State Departments. During the webinar we surveyed the attendees to build a picture of the current approaches of DOTs to MUTCD compliance on pavement marking retroreflectivity. The results were fascinating.

Just 36% of survey respondents considered that their agency was already in compliance with the minimum retroreflectivity levels of markings, with 16% confident that they were not compliant and a sizable 48% not sure.

Graph of US Agency Compliance with MUTCD

What was really interesting to hear was that the majority of agencies set minimum retroreflectivity levels above the MUTCD threshold. This was discussed by Paul Carlson from Automated Roads on the webinar, who indicated that higher minimum levels were important for Vulnerable Road Users.

Graph of US Agency Minimum Retroreflectivity Levels

34% of DOT’s are measuring retroreflectivity with retroreflectometers with only 5% choosing the nighttime visual inspection method and 10% using the service life method. This aligns with some analysis that was highlighted during the webinar where nighttime visual inspections were found to be an unreliable and inaccurate method of assessment. It was interesting to see that 43% of DOTs are using a combination of methods to assess minimum levels.

Graph of Agency Retroreflectivity Measurement Methods

By all accounts many DOT’s are pushing ahead with their plans for MUTCD compliance with 43% already gathering data and planning restriping. However, 24% are still investigating the issues involved and impact for the organization and 22% are planning their approach to retroreflectivity surveys.

Graph of US Agency current MUTCD Compliance Status

We asked attendees what their primary concern was in achieving compliance by the 2026 deadline and the results were quite interesting with 35% citing a lack of human resources available and 21% citing a lack of financial resources as being the main barrier.

Graph of US Agency Concerns with MUTCD Compliance

This builds an interesting picture on the state of play of MUTCD pavement marking retroreflectivity compliance across all DOTs. What is clear is that there is a lot of work to be done to achieve compliance and there is a preference for accurate measurements despite a real resource challenge. At RetroTek USA, we believe this requires a focus on the most efficient means of gathering survey data. The RetroTek mobile retroreflectometer unit offers the most efficient solution on the market for DOTs, gathering survey data on left and right longitudinal markings and safety critical in-lane center markings whilst also tracking RPMs. Combined with full video records and GPS mapping  of results this system rapidly pinpoints zones for restriping enabling DOTs to prioritize their restriping budgets.

For further information contact:
Email: info@retrotekusa.com
Phone: (469) 619-0899

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