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Reflective road studs aim to increase drivers' reaction time

The objective was to deliver a lasting, 20-year solution that would improve the road user’s experience

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Majority of drivers say they feel reasonably or totally safe on the A38 after its upgrade
Majority of drivers say they feel reasonably or totally safe on the A38 after its upgrade

The vast majority of drivers (91 per cent) report improved visibility after a major UK road upgrade and more than three-quarters (77 per cent) feel more confident while driving at night. The A38 in Derbyshire has been fitted with reflective road studs and given a high-friction surface.

 

Highways England was tasked with bringing the road up to modern standards without the ability to amend the layout and ensuring minimal disruption to road users on the busy A road. Traditional retro reflective road studs were replaced with Clearview’s SolarLite Active Road Studs and WJ Group used high visibility lane marking and the high-friction surface to minimise the risk of skidding on a 10km stretch of the road.

 

20-year solution

 

The objective was to deliver a lasting, 20-year solution that would improve the road users’ experience, increase visibility for drivers and require minimal future maintenance to avoid disrupting the 23,000 motorists who use the road daily.

 

More than 700 drivers living near to the scheme completed a survey regarding the improvements, with 87 per cent of respondents now feeling ‘reasonably’ or ‘totally’ safe using the road, compared to just 28 per cent before.

 

“From an industry perspective we have already had confirmation that this scheme has been successful with a win at last year’s Highways Awards,” said Andy Salotti, director of solutions at Clearview Intelligence. “But it is important to remember that it is the opinion of the end user – the driver – that ultimately matters as every road improvement scheme is delivered for their benefit.

 

“These results were gathered from drivers living within 20 miles of the upgrade and who use this route regularly. To have received such overwhelmingly positive feedback demonstrates just how positive and effective this partnership scheme has been.”

"A driver travelling at 62mph would only have 3.2 seconds to react to a change in a road layout using traditional studs, the SolarLite alternative claim to offer more than 30 seconds reaction time"

Clearview claims the road studs can be seen from up to 900 metres away and have an operational lifespan of up to 10 years, up to four times longer than retro reflective studs.

 

Because they can be seen up to 10 times further away, they provide up to 10 times more reaction time for drivers. Therefore, while a driver travelling at 62mph would only have 3.2 seconds to react to a change in a road layout using traditional studs, the SolarLite alternative can offer more than 30 seconds reaction time, said Clearview.

 

Respondents likened them to making the road like an “airport runway” and drivers also reported feeling “a lot safer” with some describing it as “the best road in the country”. Others said the scheme should be replicated on “every road in the country” with additional feedback stating the upgrade “had the potential to save lives”.

 

Clearview Intelligence has received the go ahead for the commencement of the second stage of the A38 improvements scheme at Little Eaton over the next few months.

 

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