These glow-in-the-dark highway lines in Australia are making driving safer

The tech has gone viral and received much praise.
Loukia Papadopoulos
These line markings grow in the dark.jpg
These line markings grow in the dark.

Tarmac Linemarking 

Aussie company Tarmac Linemarking, in collaboration with OmniGrip and Vic Roads, undertook a “trial run” of new glow-in-the-dark road line markings in May and now its work has gone viral, according to a report by News.com.au published on Thursday. The test was conducted on a one kilometer section of the Metong Road in Victoria’s south east and images were posted on Facebook.

The science of photoluminescence

The markings use the science behind the simple photoluminescence found in glow-in-the-dark childrens’ stickers, toys and watches. At night time, the novel coating emits the light it has absorbed throughout the sunny day. This results in road lines and pavement markings that can be better seen by drivers and pedestrians braving the darkness of the night to reach their destinations.

Tarmac Linemarking’s John Emanuelli, told News.com.au that since the trial photos went viral he has been inundated with businesses and councils looking to have their paths illuminated with his technology.

“There’s been a lot of interest since the trial run, it’s a great product,” he said.

The trial run is one of the Victorian government's 70 projects being undertaken under a new $4 million program that seeks out innovative new ideas that make the region safer.

In that spirit, the state government is also looking at LED-lit pavements for intersections and inventions that could improve the reach of reflective markings. The state spoke very highly about Tarmac Linemarking’s new product.

These glow-in-the-dark highway lines in Australia are making driving safer
The line markins can even be seen with mild light.

“This treatment will make it easier for drivers to see the line-markings or signage and provide stronger definition coming up to intersections and curves, giving drivers more time to react and preventing them from veering from their lane,” Regional Roads Victoria said in a statement.

“This will be particularly beneficial for people who are not familiar with driving through the area.”

Going viral on Facebook

Pictures of the illuminated line markings can be seen in a Facebook post submitted by the company. The post published on the 5th of May has almost 10,000 likes and 3,400 comments praising the new invention.

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“That looks like a good idea. Maybe it'll keep people in their lanes where they should be. I'm all for it. Too many people go over those other lines and on some roads, the lines are old and hard to see at night especially if it's raining,” said one admirer.

“Awesome! Now if the crazy people would just start burying the electrical lines instead of putting up power poles nobody would have a problem during storms,” said another fan.

There is no doubt the new markings will save lives by making nighttime driving clearer and safer. The only question that comes to mind is why didn’t anyone think of this before? It seems like a fairly obvious solution and the technology has been around for a while.

It has even been used on biking gear to protect bikers when driving at night and was briefly introduced on Netherlands' roads back in 2014. Still, better late than never. We are happy to see this new innovation quickly growing in popularity and can't wait to see it implemented on our roads.

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