Highways England has installed more than 4,500 solar road studs as part of £8.5m improvements to the A38 between Ripley and junction 28 of the M1 near Mansfield – a stretch that is used by more than 23,000 vehicles every day.
The studs harness sunlight to light up the road at night, and are even effective in heavy rain, mist or fog according to Highways England. They were designed and manufactured by Clearview Intelligence Ltd.
Standard road studs require car headlights to illuminate their reflective surface and this typically this means that the headlights can be seen up to 90 metres away. As a result drivers travelling at 60mph have around three seconds to react.
The new solar energy energy studs – with a panel absorbing power during the day – generate their own light at night through a battery powered LED and can be seen up to 900 metres away, giving drivers travelling at 60mph more than 30 seconds to react, Highways England said.
The Government-owned company said a four-hour charge from daylight can power the devices for over 200 hours.
The wider improvements also include high visibility lane markings that make it easier for drivers at night or in adverse weather conditions, and coloured high friction surface that reduces the risk of skidding.
Highways England project manager, Matthew Carruthers, said: ‘This section of carriageway has no street lighting so the solar road studs and improved lane markings make a real difference.
‘At the same time the new technology is more durable, meaning less disruption for motorists in the long term thanks to fewer roadworks.’
The new studs are also more durable, lasting up to five years longer than standard studs, require less maintenance during their lifetime and at only 4mm in height means are they safer for motorcycles, HIghways England said.