ASK RACQ – What makes road markings illuminate at night?

If you’ve ever driven at night on a road you may have noticed the road markings are still highly visible, even without street lights. But have you ever stopped to wonder how?

ANSWER: In Queensland road markings like edge markings illuminate at night due to tiny glass beads being embedded into the paint. Glass beads can come in a variety of different sizes depending on their intended application.

When road markings are placed, workers will lay down paint followed by the glass beads to ensure they can catch the light from car headlights. The beads also help to improve visibility of lines during wet weather by sitting above the surface of the road/water level.