Confusing high-visibility conspicuity pattern launched for motorways around Zurich

Earlier this year Leonardo Ferrazzi from Italy sent me this booklet titled Road Safety Inspectorate Signage. It outlines the details of a new conspicuity pattern now being used on the German high-speed motorways around Zurich. The booklet describes how the Canton of Zurich engineering department designed new reflective markings for their highway maintenance vehicles and protective clothing for their personnel. The new design uses reflective diagonal lines (overlaying layers of different colours on the vehicles) in trying to maximise visual contrast and conspicuity. Unfortunately the new markings and clothing designs compromise vehicle and staff safety by increasing visual confusion, slowing viewer reaction times and they display complex multicoloured diagonal patterns that completely disregard the common recommendations for maximizing vehicle and personal conspicuity. The main emphasis seems to be on the overall reflectivity and the “striking” impact of the new designs. 

The document explains that the new pattern is based on the existing striped chevron designs found on european motorways . The main explanation quotes “Development Studies show the risk of collision is 30 times smaller when a vehicle is equipped with retro-reflective sheeting.” This 30x smaller risk factor ignores the real-world need for effective colour and design parameters to be factored into the visibility and conspicuity equation so any complexity or confusion is minimised (see the AV Markings Toolkit)

I have translated the paragraphs in the booklet to English using Google translate (see below). The result is a very loose translation but this will offer enough information to understand the contents of the report. It can of course be translated into other languages if required. Have a read and feel free to post a comment about your thoughts!

To open a PDF copy of the booklet CLICK HERE. The translation is below:

Page S3 The staff of the Cantonal road Inspectorate is encouraged by the general increase in traffic at the same time higher maintenance, and new construction needs to fade into the role of producers and storage troublemaker crowded. This is accompanied by an increasingly reckless and aggressive behaviour of road users towards the Road maintenance services, or non-compliance of traffic signs and transportation arrangements of these organisations.  In addition, the number of sites leads to the road network to a fatal fact:  Because of normative standards look at the clothing operating on the road workers broadly similar. The actual competence of an employee’s service road and its traffic-conductive tasks for the road user is no longer recognizable. For the road users is exacerbated by the recognition of state organisations, the rapid development in the labelling technology reduced for vehicles: An orange vehicle now no longer provides effective signalling, while commercial labels stand out much more.  When the current construction site safety, the new, innovative technologies and materials for reinforced salient brand visibility used and an associated increase in the protection barely. So has shown that vehicles with light-reflective materials are equipped, the visibility of forces is several times increase and decrease the risk of secondary accidents. Development Studies show the risk of collision is 30 times smaller, when a vehicle is equipped with retro-reflective sheeting. In response to these heavily modified working conditions the streets of Zurich, the Strasseninpektorat own Sicherheitssignaletik developed for staff, vehicles and equipment. This new road marking to the Inspectorate and its employees help to more acceptance and security in their daily work environment. A clear assignment as a State organ eliminated the systemic and normative errors and possible confusion with this associated security risks

Page S5 The aim of the developed Sicherheitssignaletik is to improve the visibility and the recognition of the respective locations of the road Inspectorate, to provide security for employees and road users to increase. In addition, through the clear identification to the staff of the Canton of Zurich. Strasseninpektorats of that perception as authoritarian instance be raised, particularly associated benefits, regarding the driving behaviour of road users to Increase safety, can be used. From the improved immediately recognizable to additional security for employees and Motorists result. The unambiguous identification of employees as authoritarian instance is centrally. The technological advances in film production is for this target used in order to differentiate commercial road users are the ability to bring about the long term. Thus, this differentiation has long as possible on hand, is a design technology and concept has been developed to a commercial use significantly more difficult by legally protected can be. In addition, a targeted education and awareness Motorists of the tasks of the inspectorate of the road Acceptance and respect the confidence placed on the Roads increase.

Page S7 Inspectorate for the road canton of Zurich A Sicherheitssignaletik developed the functional in their design and their realization of innovative concept offers. The consistent and striking design shall, together with light-active materials for improved visibility on the Roads – all for the protection of human and material.

Page S10 The basic design concept is based on the Sicherheitssignaletik a warning pattern, derived from the common Pfeilschraffur the ex- setting boards on the road. The application of this signals tables Basic Elements of vehicles should be as fast and detectability Guarantee visibility. The more contrast and appears restless an area, the higher the Conspicuousness. Therefore, so-called warning patterns (stripes) or Pattern (square pattern) is particularly suitable for the collision. Conspicuousness is determined also by the colour contrast. each higher a colour contrasting with the background, the more conspicuous is those perceived. To the security pattern in itself as an independent visual element to embellish and increase the visibility through the formal and to enhance colour contrast, it was a multilayered, asymmetric pattern develops, which both the vehicle fleet, passes as well as for the clothing on the application.

3.2 | Colour onsciousness is still in service on the road Sicherheitssignaletik set the colour orange as a key distinguishing feature. The mere because of the normative standards is the colour orange as a colour signal predetermined. To increase the impact of signage, is the primary supplemented with a secondary element contrasting colour, in particular the colour blue for the Strasseninpektorat canton of Zurich. The secondary colour has identity and character is so customizable.

Page S12 Vehicles of road Inspectorate are new in the white ground colour purchasing and using prefabricated sheet sets with a warning pattern equipped. Thanks to the basic white colour allows the vehicles to be in buying and in selling a lot of economic manage. The warning pattern is in 3 tranches placed on the vehicles – left, centre, right. The application of the pattern for vehicles is based on from the centre and extends to both sides, whereby the Asymmetrical pattern adds.  At the rear, as well as in the front meets the pattern is a clear-Reject function, or to just after colliding with a vehicle to produce high signal efficiency. Laterally forming the pattern in the direction of arrows from, the approaching vehicles a clear pass identify the vehicle.

Page S17 The vehicles of the road with light-reflecting Inspectorate feature films. This increases the visibility of the forces is a several times, thus reducing the risk of secondary accidents. Vehicle operator recognize reflective materials in the darkness of an already Distance of 350 meters. By comparison, without the use of this technology the distance is reduced to 50 meters. A fleet of vehicles during street use to label newly required a special consideration of the needs in terms of function, Logistics and model diversity. To meet these requirements, for Strasseninspekorat is a novel conceived Beklebungslösung been focusing on different types of vehicles and individual on- buildings can be adapted and applied. Each vehicle is a fleet to accurately dimensioned and catalogued. For a precise assembly of Film sets are prefabricated elements in the film process Pre-tape and local need only be adhered to. This saves time and the vehicles can go immediately back into use. Due to the different registration requirements of the various NEN vehicle types and the specific technical requirements a security label, three technologically different Reactions developed.

Page S23 The work of the employee’s clothing is the most important part of his personal Safety equipment. The design of the uniforms is based the basic design concept of Sicherheitssignaletik and meets all Standards of EN 471 Thus, to ensure that employees and Material to be perceived as a unit and in accordance with the standards highest protection class experience. Employees may thus by day and clearly distinguished from the other night, on the road workers be. To allow for this differentiation and nevertheless, all Standards to meet the clothing concept was fundamentally rethought. The clothing for the street Inspectorate is based on a Layering system such as exists in the sports apparel. The various Functions such as comfort, function (heat / cold insulation) and Security in different layers of each in combination worn. The central element is the safety vest, which primarily the necessary requirements of the visibility and more also be variable ausstattbare work vest with radio holder, pockets etc. works. This has the advantage that the underwear such as T-shirts and jackets specifically indicate their comfort and function could be developed. The combined uniform concept allows our employees a self-determined Depending on the task and location; create their uniforms thereby leading to improved ergonomic working conditions.

Page S27 We are the capabilities of the new Sicherheitssignaletik road Inspectorate convinced. The improved visibility on Day as at night, and the independent consistently implemented labelling our employees, together with the exclusive Use provide more protection and respect on our streets – all so our task in the future perform successfully.

Page S29 There have been repeated at dusk or at night to rear-end-accidents due to lack of visibility. Common labels lost in the night often signal their effect. Either they are hardly perceived or dramatically altered. The consistent and striking design of the new-Sicherheitssignaletik shall, together with light-active materials for improved visibility on the road. Through the selective use of colour, contrast and reflective values will be achieved and optimized visibility thisday and night. In addition to the generally prevailing hazards road use, so at least the dangers of flowing reduced traffic.

4.2 | Value recognition seeing is not seen yet. Only those who actively object in road traffic in it (Sehfokus) will respond well. With the new Sicherheitssignaletik is the physical presence of vehicles in traffic signaling a carrier better utilized. In addition to the formal conspicuous warning of the pattern is also the immediate identification of the service road as an authoritarian body ensures better. For the recognition it is important that certain properties of a label depending on service will be used consistently. How to Hold the road users automatically by typical features such as colour, beacon, marking etc. on the lookout and assigns them to the appropriate services quickly and accurately. The more unified we are in the future such codes Ver-, contact the clearer and faster, our vehicles can be detected. In contrast, many departments want some independence. Perceived primarily as a road service vehicle must be secondary and is the identification of an area /Section possible. Even these concerns in the concept-invoiced bear exist in the customization options, but without the newly developed visual encoding affect.

Page S32 A clear differentiation of the various road users increasingly important. The independent design provides for road service its own identity and closes aware of the phenomenon of other forces at. The colours used and the use of reflective materials focuses on the appearance of our fleet closer to the use of police vehicles, ambulances and fire brigade. For safety’s sake this is looking confident and close of the relevant departments supported explicitly, because on the one hand, the Road maintenance services can position clear, on the other hand, the behaviour of road users in terms of increased safety changed. The disturbing, normative identification with private providers is the new uniform concept broken. Its own identity as authoritarian instance, the level of acceptance and respect for the street and security, are the result.

4.4 | value exclusivity To enforce the exclusive use of this appearance to, legal and technical barriers are necessary. This Protection is important to move from private and commercial vehicles to be able to withdraw. The Inspectorate road left for this purpose, the pattern for the vehicles registered as a protected mark. Without the consent of the road Inspectorate No vehicle may with this caption, or similar Captions are provided. The authorization for imitation is the only other road services and is subject to the express Permit. The technical design of the lettering and the individual university shape components is about the parties of the Strasseninpektorates protected by patents or certificates, which is the access to significantly more difficult for third parties such technologies

Page s33 The road Sicherheitssignaletik Inspectorate is on at the highest possible dissemination rejected. Only then can introduce  the new to establish signals on the road. The concept is designed to over-area and cantonal borders to the application to arrive. We are in the interest and the willingness of other organs of the public Lichen service dependent

Page S34 – 5.1 | enforcement and dissemination The quality of the appearance of street Inspectorate is critical how consistently can deliver. Is to say: the bigger the spread, the more clearly we recognize the higher the security the employee. In this regard it is: the design of both object-like also implemented for several areas. Not only a specific part of a car parks should be provided, but will include up for equipment and uniforms, so that vehicles and staff as be recognized related. In this regard, we seek a canton and straddling  distribution to and hope for other departments of the need to convince.

5.2 | Fleet Management  the Inspectorate is designed specifically Sicherheitssignaletik road to be extended with little effort on other services to. For this purpose we have chosen the pre-tape Beklebungslösung, makes it possible for each individual vehicle type, the corresponding Slide set pre-fabricated to order. Thus, any vehicle fleet, which may consist of different vehicle types and structures, with signage of “road inspector” simply adapted and prefabricated are supplied. Installation can be on site by qualified service personnel. Be expensive initial investment can be minimized.

5.3 | Adaptation The Inspectorate has developed from the road can Sicherheitssignaletik of all organs of the civil service completely or with individual Changes to take effect. There have only the individual Labels and adapted the existing motif of the respective Vehicle parking will be matched

Page S35 The following services are emerging for the Sicherheitssignaletik Street Inspectorate responsible. Street Inspectorate Canton Zurich The road Inspectorate Canton Zurich with a client this Project responsible. As part of an advertised by the Canton of Zurich public competition for the “development of optical security elements on vehicles and clothes to improve the service Safety “was selected for the realization of this project and in Cooperation with the partners listed below implemented: Studio CRR The proposed design studio CRR design concerns proposed for the realization of the competition. Studio recorded CRR for conception, design and product development and for the realization and obtaining certification of the project “Street Sicherheitssignaletik Inspectorate” responsible. They are responsible for the design responsibility of the project. Visual Safety As part of the visual realization of safety has been a specialized manufacturer of car wraps with the order of the vehicles and equipment Inspectorate of the road canton Zurich in charge. Visual Safety devel- te specifically for the new concept of manufacturing and processing methods and ensures the availability of specific Beklebungssets for all common Vehicles safely. Work Fashion / Spilag Fashion Work / supply Spilag as work clothes manufacturer, the road Inspectorate Canton of Zurich with the corresponding CRR in collaboration with Studio oped service clothes.

5.5 | Contact: Reto Dyer, Street Inspector, Construction Authority. Canton Zurich Civil Engineering Department / Street Inspectorate Walcheplatz 2, PO Box CH-8090 Zurich


About John Killeen (Ambulance Visibility)

John Killeen is a former Intensive Care Paramedic who authors the Ambulance Visibility research website & blog
This entry was posted in Emergency vehicles, Fluorescent colours, High Visibility, Markings, PPE, Reflective, Rescue, Significant & Important Blogs, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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