A LIMITED EVALUATION OF REFLECTIVE AND NON-REFLECTIVE BACKGROUND FOR OVERHEAD SIGNS

The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using reflective sign sheeting, either engineering grade (Class I) or high-intensity grade (Class II) as background material for selected overhead signs, or using presently accepted non-reflective, opaque, porcelain enamel backgrounds but without external illumination. Two sets of overhead signs were placed at two sites, where motorist interviews and photometric readings were taken. The results indicate that the motorists generally preferred the unlighted high intensity signs as compared to unlighted non-reflective or engineering grade signs. Photometric readings indicated greatest contrast ratio with reflective button copy on the non-reflective background when not illuminated. It is concluded that signs with the reflective backgrouds and legends used in this study could fully provide an acceptable level of service when not self illuminated on freeway type highways with tangent section a minimum of 1200 feet in length. Illuminated, non-reflective signs with button copy yield high contrast ratios and provide a level of service equal to the alternate sign types tested. The individual states should have the prerogative of deciding which background type, legend, and illumination condition provide the best service in their areas of jurisdiction. /FHWA/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Sponsored by the Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

    Bureau of Materials, Testing and Research, 1118 State State
    Harrisburg, PA  USA  17112
  • Authors:
    • Bryan Jr, N
    • Klotz, R
    • Kinsley, H
    • Casner, D
  • Publication Date: 1978-9

Media Info

  • Pagination: 40 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00188970
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-PA-78-19 Final Rpt., HS-026 321
  • Contract Numbers: 75-19
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Apr 12 1989 12:00AM