by The Roadmarking Industry Association of Australia, the peak industry body representing pavement marking professionals

The average motorist on a busy road or car park may not notice the bright, white pavement markings that guide their travel. But every part of our driving journey is impacted by those markings. From lane keeping, to the regulation of traffic and efficient parking, to the safe operation of an aerodrome, all is enabled by pavement markings. 

Lines, markings, and signs guide lane position, warn of hazards, and let drivers know where to safely park.

Well maintained road markings are fundamental to road safety and the efficient operation of facilities. Unfortunately, markings are mostly noticed when they are not there. Lack of maintenance or poor performance under all weather conditions often leads to accidents and reactive maintenance due to complaints.

The importance of high-quality road markings matching required specifications will only increase as vehicle technology, such as lane assist, and even fully automated driving, relies on the quality and performance of those lines.

The patterns, placement, and materials are a product of a hierarchy of documents being Legislation, Standards, and specifications. This can be very confusing for applicators and designers alike, often with misinformation or poorly applied Standards being used. Each facility type has specific legislation appropriate to that facility, with a flow-on to the correct Standards and specifications.

To provide some guidance through the confusion of the legislation, standards, and specifications, the RIAA has produced a series of Technical Guides in consultation with Road Authorities, suppliers, and contractors. 

The Guides indicate the appropriate treatment for each facility type, together with advice on materials and their selection. We aimed to write the Guides in plain English suited to a wide audience including designers, engineers, facility owners and contractors. 

Currently the proposed Guides include:

Series 1 Facilities Pavement Marking 1.1 Off Street Parking Facilities Marking Guide

1.1.1 Outdoor Car Park Fact Sheet

1.1.2 Undercover Car Park Fact Sheet

1.2 Aerodrome Marking Guide

1.2.1 Airside Marking Fact Sheet

1.3 Ports and Wharves Marking Guide

1.4 Warehouse and Factory Marking Guide

1.5 Sports Facilities and Off-Road Shared Paths Marking Guide

1.6 Roads and Highways Marking Guide

Series 2 Materials 2.1 Cold Applied Plastic    2.1 Cold Applied Plastic

2.2 Thermoplastics

2.3 Waterborne Paints

2.4 Raised Pavement Markers

Series 3 Methods 3.1 Pavement Marking Removal Systems

3.2 Set Out and Spotting

3.3 Plant Calibration Methods

Series 4 Inspection Guides 4.1 Marking Pattern Compliance

4.2 Performance Compliance

4.3 Thermoplastic Material Application Compliance

4.4 Waterborne Material Application Compliance

4.5 Cold Applied Plastic Material Application Compliance


The intention of these documents is to detail the issues not covered by regulations and specifications, pull together what items are relevant to specific topics, and provide a central source of information for each facility type or material type. The focus has been toward providing better outcomes for asset owners, the travelling public, and the environment.

Roads and road-related areas are obviously subject to various State Roads Acts and Road Regulations that nominate specific marking patterns that are detailed in Standards. Materials, application rates and performance attributes are called up in Road Authority specifications. The selection of material type and compatibility/suitability issues are not addressed. 

Misinformation about materials in road marking is common, with ‘opinion’ from engineering personnel not directly involved in pavement marking, often being passed off as fact with little understanding of the materials properties.

Car parks are often marked with arrows and legends at an architect’s whim rather than following the appropriate Standards for a road related area. Road materials and specifications are not always suitable for underground use or surfaces used in these situations.

Aerodromes are tightly controlled for aircraft marking patterns in the CASA Manual of Standards, with airside roads marked to AS1742. Materials and application rates are nominated with a cut and paste approach of specifications that are unchanged from mid last century. The closest thing to a current specification is the Defence Airfield Pavement Maintenance Manual with a rather vague approach. This has resulted in our inclusion of a suggested specification in the RIAA Aerodrome Marking Guide.

Several guides are now available to Members, their clients, and key stakeholders. They will be issued as a set with each update. We will continue to produce the library of information which we see as a daily benefit to Members in providing guidance to staff, information for clients, solving site disputes, and reducing the possibility of product failures.

The RIAA has assisted numerous Councils with their specifications and other advice, and can be a vital resource for all Local Governments. 

The RIAA already counts many Local Government representatives among its Membership, enabling constructive open dialogue to forward the industry.

Special rates and benefits are available for Council representatives who wish to become members of the RIAA, with details at


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