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Glow in the Dark Road Markings On the Way?

We’ve all been there, even on modern bikes with relatively good lights – a dark, wet road at night with oncoming headlights can be a nightmare of poor vision. But now an Australian engineering firm reckons it may have the answer – glow in the dark white lines.

Tarmac Linemarking of Victoria has developed photoluminescent paint which absorbs UV light during the day, enabling it to emit light after dark. There’s nothing new about the idea, which has been used for watch hands and children’s’ toys for years, but this is thought to be the first time it has been applied to road markings. Special phosphors in the paint absorb invisible UV light during the day, which cause it to glow, which becomes visible after dark.

The luminescent markings are currently being trialled on roads in Victoria. Tarmac Linemarking’s John Emanuelli told “There’s been a lot of interest since the trial run, it’s a great product…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.”

BMF Chair Jim Freeman welcomed the development, which could greatly improve motorcycle safety at night: “If this works as advertised it could be the biggest safety improvement in night riding since the invention of cat’s eyes. Now we only need to get rid of stupidly powerful LED and Laser headlights on SUVs and the like, which are horrifically dangerous for riders in bad weather conditions.”

Written by Peter Henshaw

Image: Tarmac linemarking