Drivesmart column: Pavement marking in progress

Line-marking crews have begun the annual task of refreshing markings on highways

By Tim Schewe

Line-marking crews have begun the annual task of refreshing markings on highways across British Columbia to help provide a safer drive for motorists. More than 30,000 kilometres of lines are marked every year throughout the province to guide drivers.

Lines are painted by independent contractors under pavement marking agreements with the provincial government. These contracts specify which lines must be repainted each year and which lines can be renewed on a lower priority basis depending on wear, location and traffic volumes.

Most lines are marked using quick-drying, water-based paints that are environmentally friendly. Glass beads are suspended in the paint to create reflectivity for better visibility at night. The thickness of the paint and the application of beads are based on provincial standards consistent with industry best practices.

Line markings are exposed to extreme weather, winter aggregates and heavy traffic, which wears away the paint over time. The harsher the winter and the more traffic that drives over the lines, the faster the lines wear. Line markings tend to wear off faster on new pavement because often it takes a season for the surface of new pavement to settle. For this reason, the ministry specifies that new paving projects must have two coats of paint applied in the first year. The paint industry is constantly researching technologies that will increase durability while ensuring the paint is environmentally friendly.

New agreements were up for negotiation in 2019. The following 35 minute video was made of the contractor information session and explains the expectations of our Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Pavement-marking crews often work outside of normal working hours and can be encountered at all times of the day or night and on any day of the week. Signs may advise of “line markings in progress for next 8 km” or so because work is done at less than 20 km/hour and large areas can be covered in a day. Most crews also use message boards to provide information on the fresh lines and help direct traffic when it is safe to pass.

Some drivers show little patience for line marking crews or poor ability to stay between the lines. In additon to the usual rules that apply to careless drivers, there is a specific rule in the Motor Vehicle Act that prohibits driving over a newly painted line.

“Newly painted lines

“143 A person must not drive on or over a newly painted line or marking on a highway when the line is indicated by a traffic control device.

“Penalty: $109 and 2 penalty points”

When you encounter line marking crews in your travels, remember the Cone Zone and our Slow Down, Move Over rules.

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement. To comment or learn more, please visit DriveSmartBC.ca

Just Posted

REMEMBRANCE DAY: Fairbridge School students gave their all for the war effort

There are 78 students and 11 staff members listed on the memorial scroll in the old school chapel.

REMEMBRANCE DAY: Old wristwatch is an echo of the First World War

A chance discovery in a box of old watches recalls heroic Cowichan Valley brothers.

REMEMBRANCE DAY: Capt. J.S. Dobbie’s last letter to his mother and father

“We have both lost a very fine friend…a sportsman and gentleman of the very highest.”

Guest column: A letter from home

By Jack Bridges My dad was born in 1897 in Ontario. Canada… Continue reading

Remembrance Day nuggets

In the last 100 days of the First World War no fewer than 30 soldiers earned the Victoria Cross

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Devils strike early, hang on for 2-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver now 0-8-3 in last 11 games versus New Jersey

Most Read