REFLECTIVE LICENSE PLATE MATERIAL. EVALUATION OF CONSPICUITY AND LEGIBILITY PERFORMANCE FOR A STANDARD LICENSE PLATE CONFIGURATION USING BEADS ON PAINT VERSUS REFLECTIVE SHEETING. FINAL REPORT

The literature on nighttime conspicuity (visibility) and legibility of non-reflectorized and reflectorized license plates and their accident reduction potential, safety and other benefits was reviewed. A nighttime field study using 20 young subjects using an experimental car and an opposing glare car (both H6054 low beams) was conducted to assess the nighttime conspicuity performance (550 ft, 2 license plate display locations, 2 seconds exposure time) and the nighttime legibility performance (81.2 ft legibility distance, 2 seconds exposure time) of new and used reflective license plates (Texas plates, 3 Numbers and 3 Letters) and of new and used beads on paint license plates (Arizona plates, white characters, 3 Numbers and 3 Letters). The results of this nighttime field study indicate that under fairly close to real world conditions, the reflective sheeting license plates provide better and statistically significant conspicuity and legibility performance than the beads on paint license plates. A cost analysis considering all costs (including the metal plate, packaging, distribution, etc.) indicates that for a life cycle time of 5 years, the yearly costs of the reflective sheeting license plates is about $1.10 while that of the beads on paint license plates is about $1.08. However, calculations indicate that if the reflective sheeting plates are used one year longer than the beads on paint plates (very small conspicuity and legibility performance decrease between Texas new and Texas used would appear to make this life extension feasible) then the reflective sheeting plates would actually have a slight cost advantage over the beads on paint plates for any life cycle time period.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Zwahlen (Helmet T)

    Athens, OH  United States 

    Arizona Department of Transportation

    206 South 17th Avenue
    Phoenix, AZ  United States  85007

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Zwahlen, H T
  • Publication Date: 1991-4

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 35 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00628958
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA/AZ-91/358
  • Contract Numbers: PL-1(39)358
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: May 3 1993 12:00AM