Safety group wants wider, brighter highway striping

| Tuesday, July 19, 2005

According to one group, it’s not deteriorating vision or slower reaction time that’s causing older drivers to have accidents while driving at night – it’s those blasted yellow lines that just aren’t wide enough or shiny enough.

In a recently released study by Higher Highway Safety Standards, a lobbying and advocacy organization whose aim is improving road conditions and safety, 99 percent of all drivers between the ages of 18 ad 65 believe bright and easy-to-see road markings are important to road safety.

The study also found that 94 percent of the subjects believe state and local municipalities should make easy-to-see lane stripes a priority, and that drivers 50 years and older were most likely to support the initiative.

The group is proposing increasing the width of the stripes, which are an average of four inches wide, to a standard six to eight inches. The use of highly reflective paint technologies is also being investigated.

Wider center stripes have already seen some advancement in various states.

The Pennsylvania Legislature passed a bill that would’ve added $1.5 million to the state’s budget to widen the stripes to six inches, but the governor line-item vetoed the measure from the 2005-06 budget when it reached his desk.

The group plans to spread its message to other states, beginning with New Jersey, in the near future, according to the New Jersey Express-Times. Wider, eight-inch stripes were tested on roads in an area of Morris County, NJ, and according to the study, crashes were reduced by 16 percent.

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