If you drive at night, you’ll know how difficult it is when the road markings are barely visible.
They’re even harder to follow in the dark when the paint has faded or the road was recently paved.
In Australia, they’re trailing glow-in-the-dark lines on the roads.
Essentially, what they’re doing is painting road markings with photoluminescent paint.
You know, the stuff that’s used for the hands of tactical watches so they light up at night.
Selected roads in the state of Victoria are having the special paint applied to them.
Apparently, it’s costing taxpayers AUD $4 million (USD $2.82 million).
It’s said that the new glow-in-the-dark lines will help drivers stay in their lanes and react better to curves and intersections, especially for people unfamiliar with the area.
The glow-in-the-dark lines are one of three treatment projects by Tarmac Linemarking to be used as part of the state’s ‘Innovation Package’.
The second treatment involves using road markings with higher reflectivity.
This is achieved by adding thicker glass beads and thermoplastic to the paint, however, it doesn’t make it glow like in the first case.
Still, it assures better visibility when car headlights illuminate the dye in the dark.
The third measure uses LED tactile paving at controlled pedestrian crossings.
The LEDs will follow the colors of the traffic light for added visibility to pedestrians who, more often than not, have their eyes aiming low toward their phone screens.
However useful they may be, the glow-in-the-dark lines haven’t escaped criticism.
For starters, some are afraid it will be a money pit, as the lines would need to be refreshed often.
Others are afraid the paint could contain dangerous, radioactive materials.
Some even consider it outright hazardous, as people are likely to want to turn off theory headlights to see how cool it is.