The National Academies

NCHRP 05-10 [Completed]

A Mobile System for Measuring Retroreflectance of Traffic Signs

  Project Data
Funds: $480,795
Research Agency: EKTRON Applied Imaging
Principal Investigator: John Lumia
Effective Date: 9/7/1987
Completion Date: 12/31/1990

Traffic signs are very important components of streets and highways. Ideally, they help motorists find their way in a safe manner by providing for the orderly and predictable movement of traffic. In order for signs to accomplish their intended purposes, they must be visible to the motorists at all times. While sign visibility is generally not a problem during daylight, at night signs with inadequate retroreflectance may not be sufficiently visible and can contribute to accidents.

The objectives of this project were (1) to develop a system concept for the rapid assessment of retroreflective effectiveness of signs and (2) to demonstrate the feasibility of the system concept by devising and testing a proof-of-concept model. Another objective, to build a prototype system, was later added to the project as Phase II.

All work has been completed. The prototype Mobile System for Measuring the Retroflectance of Traffic Signs (MSMRTS) was successfully demonstrated to the project panel in Bedford, Mass., on June 15, 1990. Final delivery of the MSMRTS van with all hardware and software was made on November 15, 1990. The MSMRTS is currently being used by the FHWA, and they are developing an updated version.

The final reports were not published in the regular NCHRP report series.

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