Pavement Marking Retroreflectivity - it’s not just about MUTCD compliance

Pavement Marking Retroreflectivity it’s not just about MUTCD compliance

Good quality visible pavement markings day & night are necessary for safer roads which is in the general public’s interest. Many road agencies are considering and planning their  approach to ensuring compliance with the latest MUTCD mandatory minimum retroreflectivity requirements for pavement markings. Transportation Directors & Engineers realize that there is much more at stake than just meeting FHWA MUTCD mandatory requirements. We are frequently hearing that there are Seven Key Issues driving the need for pavement marking retroreflectivity condition assessment.

Legal – Avoiding Litigation

Avoid expensive, time-consuming legal claims following road traffic accidents where the plaintiff cites the condition of pavement markings. Road agencies can now have accurate survey data, time stamped with video evidence to be able to prove they proactively manage the maintenance of pavement markings to the minimum MUTCD requirements.

Safety – Ensuring Road Worker Safety

Remove roadworkers from busy roads while using handheld retroreflectometers with the risk of injury or even death while carrying out markings spot-checks which may require expensive lane closures & traffic management. The RetroTek-D  eliminate that risk by measuring all lane pavement markings at traffic speeds, day or night.

Budgets – Prioritizing Maintenance Spends

Restriping pavement markings is expensive, annual blanket restriping even more so. But armed with pavement marking survey data, a road agency can prioritize maintenance planning and provide best value to the taxpayer.

Quality Control – Maintaining quality of road network

Annual or periodic surveys of pavement markings enable road agencies to prioritize the roads that require maintenance. In doing so, this improves the overall quality of the agencies road network. Annual surveys can be compared to predict future maintenance requirements.

Inventory Management – Building an accurate inventory of pavement assets

Most road agencies don’t always know exactly what markings they have and where they are on their road networks, particularly in-lane center markings/symbols such as directional arrows, transverse lines & cross walks etc.  The RetroTek-D automatically gathers all pavement markings data across a full lane which are time stamped, GPS tagged with HD color video footage, providing a detailed pavement asset inventory for road agencies.

Compliance – Ensuring warranty and contract compliance

Road agencies rely on striping contractors to perform the work to their contract specifications i.e. line width, bead distribution, retroreflectivity, etc.. Prior to payment, some agencies require the contractors to only provide sample spot measurements with hand-held retroreflectometers. However, the RetroTek-D Mobile Retroreflectometer Unit (MRU)  continuously measures all line & in-lane markings can provide assurance to road agencies that contractors have complied with striping contracts on all the roadways.  

ADAS – Facilitating safe operation of autonomous vehicle technology    

Retroreflectivity facilities drivers see the pavement markings at night. In daylight good contrast between the marking & surrounding pavement surface is essential for the efficient  operation of the ADAS  (Advanced Driver Assist Systems) in vehicles. The RetroTek-D identifies pavement markings & roads that do not have sufficient day contrast visibility to enable the safe operation of Lane Keep Assist & Lane Departure Warning including Autonomous Vehicles.


So there is much more at stake here for road agencies, other than just complying with the statutory requirements of the MUTCD minimum standards for retroreflectivity of pavement markings. Choosing the right retroreflectivity measurement system is vital in ensuring agencies can cost effectively gather data on pavement marking condition and quickly identify where the restriping priorities are. The RetroTek-D front mounted mobile retroreflectometer measurement system is the only 3rd generation system on the market that can survey all pavement marking assets in a lane in one survey pass, including edge and center lines & in-lane markings/symbols. As a result, road agencies can capture all the data they need in a lane in at normal traffic speeds, in one survey run with the same levels of accuracy as handheld retroreflectometers.

For further information contact:
Phone: (469) 619-0899

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