/ Transportation / Departments of Transportation raising their game on MUTCD Pavement Marking Retroreflectivity Compliance

Departments of Transportation raising their game on MUTCD Pavement Marking Retroreflectivity Compliance

Parul Dubey on February 22, 2024 - in Transportation

According to a recent survey conducted by RetroTekUSA Inc., 36% of Departments of Transportation surveyed considered that their agency was already in compliance with the minimum retroreflectivity levels of markings, with 16% confident that they were not currently compliant and a sizable 48% not sure.

RetroTekUSA Inc., a manufacturer of the latest generation of mobile retroreflectometer units, conducted the survey of representatives from 43 US state DOTs during a webinar at the end of 2023.

The survey also revealed that the majority of agencies (54%) set minimum retroreflectivity levels above the MUTCD mandatory threshold. This is an encouraging sign as it is widely recognized that higher minimum levels of retroreflectivity are important for road users and in particular Vulnerable Road Users.



34% of DOT’s are measuring retroreflectivity with retroreflectometers with only 5% choosing the nighttime visual inspection method and 10% using the service life method. This aligns with industry analysis where nighttime visual inspections were found to be an unreliable and inaccurate method of assessment. 43% of DOTs are using a combination of methods to assess minimum levels.


By all accounts DOT’s are pushing ahead with their plans for MUTCD compliance with 43% already gathering data and planning restriping. However, 24% are still investigating the issues involved and the financial & personnel resource impact for the organization and 22% are planning their approach with retroreflectivity surveys.


DOT representatives were asked what their primary concern was in achieving compliance by the 2026 deadline and the results were quite interesting, with 35% citing a lack of human resources available and 21% citing a lack of financial resources as being the main barrier.


This builds an interesting picture on the state of play of MUTCD pavement marking retroreflectivity compliance across all DOTs. What is clear is that there is a lot of work to be done to achieve compliance and there is a preference for accurate retroreflective measurements despite the real resource challenges.

At RetroTekUSA Inc., we believe this requires a focus on the most efficient means of gathering retroreflective survey data. The RetroTek-D  mobile retroreflectometer unit (MRU) offers the most efficient solution on the market for DOTs, gathering survey data on left and right longitudinal markings and including the safety critical in-lane center of lane markings whilst also tracking RPMs. Combined with full video records and GPS mapping  of results this system rapidly pinpoints zones for restriping enabling DOTs to prioritize their restriping budgets & compliance with MUTCD mandatory requirements,.

For further Information contact.

Joe Turley   President, RetroTekUSA Inc.

Phone:          +1 469 619 0899

Email:           [email protected]

Web:             www.retrotekusa.com

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