Why Road Markings are Important

Road markings are used as a means of controlling and guiding traffic. They are highly important on urban roads and intersections as they promote road safety and provide guidance and information to drivers and pedestrians.

Road markings also supplement the messages conveyed by road signals and signs. In some cases, they are used alone to convey certain regulations, information or warnings that cannot otherwise be effectively made known to the road users.

Uniformity and standardisation of road marking is an important factor in minimizing confusion and uncertainty about their meaning.

The main functions of the road markings are to guide the safe and smooth flow of traffic. Some of these include:

  • Segregation of traffic
  • Stop streets
  • Instructions to give way
  • Whether it is safe and allowed to overtake or not.
  • Two lanes that turn into one lane and vice versa
  • Speed indication as an addition to existing road signs and posts
  • Direction
  • One way streets
  • Pedestrian crossings

In addition, road markings are used in residential and business complexes to:

  • Indicate Parking zones versus no parking zones
  • Parking bays
  • Highlight speed humps
  • Flow of traffic and one way roads

Road Markings assist in traffic management


Road markings play a useful role in traffic management. They should convey the required information to the driver without distracting his attention from the road.

Basic requirements of road markings


In order to do so correctly, the following basic requirements need to be met:

  1. Visibility by day – This is achieved through the contrast of the road marking paint with the road surface, mainly through the use of pigments such as titanium oxide in white material and chromates in yellow material. These are enhanced by the use of high quality resins and clean white aggregate to achieve high luminance values.
  2. Visibility by night – Reliant entirely on retro-reflectivity, by the incorporation of tiny glass beads in the materials. These are added to the product during manufacture and also applied to the line during application as ‘surface applied beads’ to provide instant retro-reflectivity.
  3. Skid resistance – This can be a function of both the surface texture of the road surface and of the marking material. The thicker the material the lower the influence of the road surface.
  4. Wet night visibility – This can be achieved by the use of profiled, embossed or a combination of large ‘surface applied beads’ and aggregates, laid directly onto a ‘flat’ line.

With every project Elegant Line Road Painters is involved in, we make sure the basic requirements are always met.

In addition, extra safety precautions are taken during the application of the paint. Making sure all road users, as well as staff, are safe at all times.

Autonomous Vehicle Driving Systems


With the imminent arrival of self-driving ( autonomous or semi-autonomous) vehicles, the visual clarity and condition of road markings are going to become more and more vital in enabling accurate guidance of vehicles. There are many existing vehicles already using the road network that have ‘lane-assist’ and other automatic guidance systems in place.

The potential legal ramifications of road authorities not maintaining the markings in the areas of their jurisdiction to a reasonable standard will soon be tested in our legal system.

The danger of a tax-compliant, correctly licensed and legal road user being endangered by poor or sub-standard markings could soon have far reaching financial implications for non-compliant road Authorities.

Comments are closed