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Road Safety Award Winner making roads safer internationally

7 May 2008

A British designed “smart” road-stud is making a significant improvement to driving safety on roads around the world. It offers a significant boost in night-time or poor weather visibility compared with the traditional “cats-eye” road reflector, or lines painted down the side of roads.

Former Prince Michael Road Safety technology Award winner - Astucia SolarLite studs have made a significant improvement to the safety of a busy narrow and twisting rural in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, locally known as “The Five Mile Lane”. It had a background of an unacceptably high accident record, but in the three years since the initial installation of the Astucia SolarLite road studs, there has been a 72% reduction in accidents.

On the twisting A143 at Haddiscoe in Norfolk, England , there were previously 22 recorded accidents in a three year period, two of which involved loss of life and 6 caused serious injury. 95% of these accidents were as a result of loss of control. In the two years since SolarLite studs were installed there were only five recorded accidents, all of which were minor. None occurred in the dark. The overall accident frequency has reduced from 7.3 per year to 2.3 whilst the severity ratio has reduced from 36% to zero.

The use of Astucia solar-powered road studs on a notorious stretch of highway in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa demonstrated not only their effectiveness in road safety, but also their cost-effectiveness too. A major 2 year pilot project was carried out on one of the country's most notorious routes, the R66 north of Durban , which significantly reduced the number of serious accidents and road deaths on the busy highway.

In previous years, 88 serious accidents had claimed 27 lives and 15 less serious accidents had occurred on a twisting 34km section of the road between Melmoth and Ulundi. After the installation of 7,800 Astucia ‘smart’ road studs the accident rate fell to zero. The second stage of the installation extended the coverage to a total of c20,000 studs on 100 kilometres of the R66.

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