Some prior studies concerned with visibility, legibility and effects upon crashes of various types of license plates were reviewed. License plate manufacturing processes were reviewed and outlined. A sample of license plates was constructed. License plates with painted backgrounds had legends of paint or beads, while those with a reflective sheeting background had legends of opaque or transparent paint (ink). Photometric measurements of the reflectivity of these plates and a sample of automobile reflex reflectors were made before and after exposure to the SAE J575e Corrosion Test. Reflective sheeting used as a background of license plates provided about eleven times the reflectivity of license plates with beaded legends and about the same reflectivity as automobile reflex reflectors over entrance angles of up to 20 degree. At greater entrance angles, plates with reflective sheeting provided greater reflectivity than the automobile reflex reflectors. Plates with beaded legends provided up to about fourteen times the reflectivity of those using only paint. The effects on reflectivity of the corrosion testing were generally minor, except for license plates made with the beaded legend, which also showed a moderate degree of rust in the legend. No changes in color of the legend or background were noticeable.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Sponsored by Michigan Department of State.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Highway Safety Research Institute

    Huron Parkway and Baxter Road
    Ann Arbor, MI  United States  48109
  • Authors:
    • Post, D V
    • POLLOCK, W T
    • Mortimer, R G
  • Publication Date: 1974-6-28

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 46 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00263831
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Highway Safety Research Institute
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UM-HSRI-HF-74-23 Final Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: UM-ORA-73-897-KB1
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 13 1974 12:00AM