Tim Corbin

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3M Traffic Safety and Security Division

Written for the 2nd IRF Asia Regional Congress & Exhibition

At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. 3M’s Traffic Safety and Security Division is a global leader in developing products, systems and services for the transportation safety, vehicle registration and management, identification security, and electronic monitoring markets. A traffic safety innovator for more than 75 years, 3M technologies are used to produce high performance prismatic reflective sheeting for traffic signs, a full portfolio of bright and durable pavement markings, and reflective materials for work zone applications and vehicle markings.

3M’s corporate vision—3M Innovation improving every life—is born out every day with reflective signs, pavement markings, vehicle markings and license plates that make roadways and vehicles more visible at night. Since 3M’s invention of the first fully reflective traffic sign in 1939, 3M advances in technology have led to brighter, more durable and more cost effective traffic safety solutions that have helped reduce road fatalities in more than 200 countries.

So why does 3M continue to innovate in the area of reflectivity and visibility?  It is because—when it comes to traffic safety—there is still more work to be done. The statistics about traffic safety are sobering. Despite safety improvements, the World Health Organization estimates that—globally—over 1.25 million people die each year as the result of road traffic crashes.  Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among young people, aged 15–29 years, and economic costs exceed $500 billion every year.  Low and middle income countries bear a disproportionate burden of road traffic deaths. In the Southeast Asian region, road traffic fatality rates of 17.0 per 100,000 population are similar to the world average but are significantly higher than those of the U.S. and Europe.


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