LTL-M mobile retroreflectometer and safe driving
There is a growing focus on traffic safety in an increasing number of countries around the world. Many parameters can be considered when the goal is to increase safe driving, and improved signalization like road markings and road traffic signs are among them.
The iRAP organization, which has a vision of a world free of high risk roads, has over the recent 20 years assisted more than 70 countries in inspecting high-risk roads and tracking road safety performance. So far more than 500,000 km of roads have been or are in the process of being inspected. As a result of this work, national road authorities have been guided on parameters related to star ratings of roads, safer roads investment plans, and risk maps with the goals of investing where they gain the most benefits in reduced number of accidents and human injuries and death.
iRAP has over the years highlighted road markings as a low-cost safety improvement with a high benefit-cost ratio. In iRAP’s recent report “Vaccines for Roads” * they highlight examples of successful projects from the past 20 years. One of the highlights is a Mexican delineation project of 4,200 km, where an estimated 10,540 deaths and serious injuries have been prevented, a project which saw a benefit-cost ratio of 17, the highest of the 7 projects listed. This clearly shows that high performing road markings is a very important factor in improving safe driving conditions – and also an improvement that is known for its relative low cost.
Another interesting project mentioned in the “Vaccines for Roads” report is Roads That Cars Can Read, a joint initiative of EuroRAP and Euro NCAP. The project found that the condition of road signs and markings could be the greatest hurdle in reaping benefits of vehicle technology such as “Lane Support” and “Speed Alert”.
To be able to evaluate if markings and signs perform to a level where they can aid drivers to drive safely on roads, they need to be inspected at regular intervals. Depending of the type and quality of markings and the amount of wear from traffic such inspections should be carried out once or twice a year. In addition, inspections will allow road owners to optimize maintenance work and costs knowing exactly when they have to repaint road markings.
Retroreflectometers are used for inspection of road markings. These instruments come as hand-held and mobile units. The hand-held retroreflectometers like DELTA’s LTL-XL and LTL-X Mark II will provide a spot check of the markings while a mobile instrument like DELTA’s LTL-M will provide continuous measurement and full coverage of the markings measured at traffic speed.
Since its launch in 2011 DELTA’s LTL-M mobile retroreflectometer has a proven track record of being a robust and reliable instrument. The main advantage of LTL-M is its ability to automatically compensate for movement in the vehicle during driving. This ensures accurate measurement results in line with hand-held instruments, i.e. a typical repeatability of +/- 3% and a typical reproducibility of +/- 5%, during all driving conditions. Because of its ability to automatically compensate for movements the LTL-M can be mounted on almost any type of vehicle and can easily be transferred between vehicles. LTL-M is almost as simple to operate as a hand-held device.
During September 2017 DELTA will launched a number of software upgrades for the LTL-M based on input from our current customers. The upgrades will make the daily use of LTL-M more flexible and with an improved presentation option, to name a few: Flexible choice of what measurement ID’s to transfer, faster data and overhead video transfer time, possibility of choosing picture frames instead of full overhead video, pictures added to mapping of results, better control of lines during measurement, invalidate measurement a.o.