PEI using brighter material for highway construction signs – CBC.ca

That old excuse that you didn’t notice the sign won’t cut it anymore in P.E.I., as the province is now using brighter reflective signs alerting drivers they’re coming up to a construction zone.

The material is called fluorescent diamond grade and it’s more reflective than signs that have been used for more than a decade. 

Employees at the Provincial Sign Shop in Tignish show the old and the new. The sign on the left is a brighter fluorescent material compared to the old reflective sign. (Pat Martel/CBC)

The old material only reflected 30 per cent of headlight beams back to the driver. The new signs reflect 60 per cent of the light back, according to the manufacturer.

P.E.I.’s Minister of Transportation Paula Biggar said they are especially bright on dull days.

“These are much more visible on a cloudy day to draw your attention to the approach,” she said.

school zone sign roll

The brighter fluorescent material has been used in school zones on P.E.I. for a few years. It replaced the dark blue signs. (Pat Martel/CBC)

The new signs do cost more, but Biggar said they are worth it. 

“It’s four times the cost of the old material, but it is more effective and our focus is certainly on safety so we want to make sure that we use a product that meets our regulations as well.” 

pile of signs

These type of regulatory signs are printed up by the dozens at the Provincial Sign Shop in Tignish, P.E.I. (Pat Martel/CBC)

The province had already changed over to the fluorescent diamond grade signs in school zones more than a decade ago. 

Island signs made in P.E.I.

Almost every sign — including the new ones — along provincial roads was made at the Provincial Sign Shop in Tignish, P.E.I.

TIMELAPSE: A quick look at how road signs are made in P.E.I.0:31

The facility produces from ten to 14,000 signs a year, depending on the severity of the winter.

“If our plows get some of the signs, we have to take care of them and we have to make them up in the spring,” explained Leanna A’Hearn, supervisor of the Provincial Sign Shop.

Making a stop sign

An employee at the Provincial Sign Shop in Tignish makes a new stop sign by pulling away the back of a decal and attaching to a metal octagonal. (Pat Martel/CBC)

The shop follows international standards, making everything from stop signs, speed limit signs and the green community directional signs.

P.E.I. prohibits billboards along provincial highways, but tourism operators can pay for one of the blue signs that direct people to their establishments. Those signs are also made in the Provincial Sign Shop.

See where thousands of P.E.I. highway signs are made every year0:47

During peak summer season, the shop employs six people. In the winter it employees four.

This year, the facility is celebrating its 25th anniversary in its Tignish location.

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