Reducing road fatalities and injuries is a priority for all involved in designing and managing our road network. With the volume of traffic due to increase significantly over the next few years the challenge will to be to keep the increasing numbers of road users as well as road workers safe, manage traffic flows and congestion and balance this against the impact on air quality.
3M has been focused on developing technologies to improve road safety and manage traffic for over 70 years and has been manufacturing reflective sheeting for traffic signs since the 1940s and over the past six decades has introduced a number of innovative reflective sheeting solutions to improve visibility of traffic signs, vehicles and road markings.
Traffic signs are critical for drivers to provide them the necessary information they need to complete their journey safely. There are four requirements traffic signs need to meet when used on our road network, whether they are needed in a permanent or temporary application. They need to be conspicuous - in order to attract a driver's attention; legible in a range of conditions, angles and distances; comprehensible and credible.
Managing and monitoring the speeds drivers undertake on our roads is an on-going challenge. The enforcement of speed limits increases driver compliance and reduces the likelihood of fatalities and casualties. Average speed camera technology also addresses concerns around traffic flow management and carbon emission reduction forcing drivers to maintain steady speeds on their journeys.
Vehicles that use our road network to travel at high speeds, carry heavy loads or regularly stop need to be highly visible to all other road users. To protect both the drivers of such vehicles and prevent road accidents vehicles are marked with reflective materials to ensure they can be seen by drivers and pedestrians alike.
Road construction zones are extremely high risk areas for both drivers and road workers alike. Roads are set out in unfamiliar ways to the driver and are often on high speed areas, this coupled with pedestrian workers and construction equipment can result in confusion and driver error.
In order for vehicles to be identified in the event of an accident or a vehicle related crime all vehicles using the public road network must display a vehicle registration plate. Retro-reflective technology within the number plate sheeting is used to enable the clear identification of the plate characters by other road users and government agencies.
There is a direct relationship between the quality of line markings and the number of fatalities and injuries on our road network. Visible and conspicuous line markings are vital to guide drivers in wet and dry conditions, twenty-four hours a day. 3M offer road marking tape and road studs that provide superior retro reflectivity to improve driver awareness and road safety.