Clear and up-to-date road signs are crucial in helping to prevent many accidents, even saving lives. According to a study conducted by the Lombardy Region and Aci Milano, improved signage can reduce road accidents by around 40 per cent. The new challenge becomes the development of a smart road throughout Italy, capable of interacting with the new self-driving vehicles to increase safety, comfort and environmental sustainability.
It is from these needs that the training conference "Progettazione segnalamento stradale" (Road signage design) of 13 June, organised by Assosegnaletica - the association that within Anima Confindustria represents companies and operators in the road signage sector - in collaboration with Anas, a company of the Gruppo Fs Italiane (Italian State Railways) Group, was born. Its aim is to update and increase the skills of technicians involved in the decision-making and operational processes for the installation and maintenance of road signs. What Assosegnaletica and Anas are aiming at is sharing good practices for a punctual, effective and efficient management of road signs, both construction site and permanent (vertical and horizontal), as a primary element of immediate dialogue between user and infrastructure.
For Assosegnaletica, cadastre and design remain central points. The availability of an up-to-date cadastre allows authorities to invest correctly in road maintenance, without wasting resources, but above all - thanks to shared access to information - helps technicians to carry out accurate design and predictive maintenance of the signs themselves. An accurate census makes it possible to identify non-compliant road signs and replace them. The modernisation of road signs would also initiate a process of circular and sustainable economy through the recovery and reuse of ferrous materials and aluminium, a high percentage of which can be recovered from old signs.
On cadastre and design, the association has produced a publication with a practical slant 'Road Signage. Guida Assosegnaletica alla redazione del catasto e del progetto' (Assosegnaletica guide to drawing up the cadastre and design), a useful aid to the correct development of the decision-making process for the installation and maintenance of road signs, for the safety of users. In view of the challenging goal of reducing road accident victims by 50% by 2030, Anas is strongly committed to implementing the safety of its users by acting on several fronts simultaneously with a strategic plan. First and foremost, the great commitment to scheduled maintenance, to upgrading and making the network safe, also by means of increasingly high-performance pavements.
Then, the strengthening of the research and development sectors with the Smart road project, the green lights project for more efficient lighting, and the construction of latest-generation safety barriers. Lastly, the promotion and dissemination of a road safety culture, starting from the fact that more than 93% of accidents derive from driver behaviour.