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Retroreflective Backplates

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In NDOT's ongoing mission to keep the commuters of Nevada safe, we are installingThree Traffic Signals with Retroreflective Yellow Borders                                                  new advanced traffic signals across the Truckee Meadows. 


Traditional traffic signal backplates are black. The new traffic signal backplates are framed with a retroreflective and conspicuous yellow border.

  • Retroreflective borders improve the visibility of the illuminated face of the signal.
  • The color contrast to the rest of the light visually grabs driver attention to follow the signal.
  • Since it is also retroreflective, the yellow border reflects light for even more visibility.
  • Retroreflective backplates have proven helpful for both older and color vision deficient drivers.
  • They can also help cue drivers to notice the signal in the event of power outages when the signal is otherwise dark.

Life-Saving Benefits

Studies have shown that the retroreflective backplates can reduce crashes by 15%. One of the most serious traffic problems in the country is red-light running, which causes an estimated 200,000+ accidents and 900 deaths per year nationwide. In Nevada, 286 people died in intersection crashes from 2013-2017.

    Two Traffic Signals with Retroreflective Yellow Borders

Intersection Safety Tips

  • Slow down when approaching an intersection. 
  • Stop on red and look right before turning on a green.
  • Signal every turn and lane change.
  • Make a complete stop at traffic signals and stop signs.
  • Yield to other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
  • Location

    The retroreflective backplates are already in place at some intersections in Nevada, and additional traffic signals will be retrofitted by NDOT and our transportation partners.

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