Providing a safe, comfortable, cost-effective visual environment to help drivers navigate rural roads requires a better understanding of the strengths and limitations of different delineation devices, materials and treatment configurations. An international literature review examined different options to test on low-volume rural New Zealand road settings, and an expert panel prioritised four of these options to be trialled.
Four on-road trials were run to examine delineation configurations and materials that could provide better value for rural roads. The key aspects to deciding treatments were to do with targeted delineation (to assist drivers in intuitively signalling more difficult parts of the road network), consolidation (where one configuration with a new product might replace two traditional products), and better delineation in rain, which is arguably a common poor visibility environment (where crashes are over represented).
The findings provided new information about the importance of complementary devices, including edge marker posts and raised reflectorised pavement markings in different contexts.
Finally, to help implement better delineation solutions on lower volume rural roads, the report offers practical updates of the rural road delineation guidance (RTS 5).
Keywords: delineation, driver comfort, field trial, roadmarking, rural road safety