Government investment in driverless car trials could be an “exciting gift” to road safety, but won’t work without a “fully-functioning road infrastructure”, according to the Road Safety Markings Association (RSMA).
The RSMA says its most recent survey of the UK’s road network (March 2014) showed that half of markings on local authority roads in England either needed to be replaced immediately or scheduled for replacement, while just 12% were classified as “excellent”.
George Lee, national director of the RSMA, said: “By 2025, more than half the travel on Europe’s roads will be in vehicles which can read the road ahead including markings and signs. But vehicles, like drivers, cannot function if basic road markings and signs are worn out, non-compliant, inconsistent or confusing.
“Driverless car trials in towns and cities are exciting, but getting the basic network in shape first – no matter how dull it may sound – is fundamental to success.
“The network must be fixed long before autonomous vehicles can work on our roads. It would be a huge step forward if we could have roads that can be read easily by humans – who at the moment, make up the vast majority of road users.”