Federal Highway Research Institute


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Reference section for road markings

Road markings make a significant contribution to road safety

Measuring vehicle for road markings Testing of a fast-moving measurement system on the reference section


Road markings are traffic signs according to the German Road Traffic Regulations. They serve to provide continuous visual guidance, and thus make a significant contribution to road safety. As markings are subject to permanent wear due to the traffic load, a regular assessment of the properties relevant for road safety is required.

For the metrological evaluation of day and night visibility, skid resistance, and other properties, portable measuring devices are usually used. Fast-moving measurement systems can currently only be used to determine the night visibility of markings in dry conditions. As there is a need for suitable methods for a network-wide, comprehensive assessment of the condition of the markings, the further development and validation of dynamic methods in particular is the subject of ongoing research activities. Suitable test facilities are required for this, for example a reference section on the duraBASt.


White marking Road marking on the reference route for permanent use

Yellow marking Road marking on the reference route for temporary use in working areas

The reference track on the duraBASt is about 100 metres long and 3.75 metres wide. The marking patterns arranged in the longitudinal direction are each 25 metres long and 30 centimetres wide. This means that the reference section is suitable for carrying out both static and dynamic measurements, whereby existing structural boundary conditions must be taken into account for the dynamic measurements (bordering by in-situ concrete wall).

Road markings differ in terms of the materials used and can have different surface structures. On the reference route in the northern area of the duraBASt, 4 marking patterns with different surface structures and colours are currently applied.