Pause for a second to think about driving down a roadway without pavement markings at night or in bad weather. There are no reflective center stripes to keep you in the proper lane and safely away from oncoming traffic. Should you have to pull over, there would be no markings that show the shoulder of the roadway. And if you started to feel sleepy while driving, there would be no rumble strips on the roadway shoulder or approaching curves to alert you to potential danger.
Pavement markings provide one of the primary means of communicating information to drivers. Unlike traffic signs and signals, pavement markings are continuous and provide motorists with the vital guidance they need to properly position their vehicle on the road. Researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) have been involved with several studies examining the effectiveness of pavement markings, and how they can be improved to make the roadway safer for all drivers in all conditions.
In addition, TTI developed and administers TxDOT’s Mobile Retroreflectometer Certification Program. The basic concept of the certification program is to provide a quantitative basis for evaluating the ability of both contractor personnel and equipment to accurately measure the retroreflectivity of long-line pavement markings.