A stretch of road in Holland looks like something out of the movie Tron with its trial of glow-in-the-dark road markings. The futuristic looking paint contains photo-luminising powder that charges up in the daytime and releases a green glow at night – making streetlights obsolete.
UK Highways Agency is watching the trial in the Netherlands with interest. It has been said the glow-in-the-dark paint could be considered for the UK but authorities would want to consider how far the road markings could be seen, how skid resistant they were, how visible they were during the day and how they might perform in winter when the UK has fewers hours of daylight.
The technology is being launched by interactive artist Daan Roosegaarde and Dutch civil engineering firm Heijmans.
Roosegaarde said: “The government is shutting down streetlights at night to save money, energy is becoming much more important than we could have imagined 50 years ago. This road is about safety and envisaging a more self-sustainable and more interactive world.”
Once the paint has absorbed daylight they can glow green for up to eight hours.
The UK currently uses solar-powered cat’s eye. Although they don’t look as futuristic as the glow-in-the-dark road paint the cat’s eye are visible from 90 metres to 900m and have been shown to reduce night time accidents by more than 70%.
Perhaps the glow-in-the-dark road markings could be used in small towns and villages were the sides streets are being turned off. The dark nights and eerie streets in a village with its lights out can be quite daunting. The glow-in-the-dark paint could help improve the feeling of personal safety for pedestrians walking back to their homes at night.
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