Romania to get musical roads this year

The National Company for the Administration of Road Infrastructure (CNAIR) plans to improve traffic safety this year by designing “musical roads.” The state authority hopes that drivers will reduce their speed on these roads and be more awake behind the steering wheel. The first pilot project is to be implemented on the Bucharest-Piteşti highway, reports the digi24.ro news portal.

The late Dan Spătaru, who was a famous Romanian singer of the 20th century, would probably be proud, given CNAIR may use some of his well-known songs in the project, for instance, “Our Roads” and “The Lark.”

A musical road is a road, or part of a road, that causes a tactile vibration when driven over; the oscillation is then transmitted through the wheels into the car’s body in the form of a musical tune. Such roads are known to exist in Denmark, Hungary, Japan, South Korea, the United States, China, Iran, San Marino, Taiwan the Netherlands and Indonesia; in all of these places, the roads are used to prevent drivers from falling asleep behind the wheel.

“There will be some diagonal markings on certain sections of the roads; the driver will be able to hear the melody of the road segment while driving over if the speed limit indicated is respected,” CNAIR Director Flavius Pavel explained. He added that the state authority will consult with the National University of Music Bucharest on how to best implement the project and create road markings that will create the nicest music.

Several drivers asked by digi.24.ro formulated rather sarcastic opinions concerning this new strategy meant to increase safety on the roads.

“How does it help me if the road sings “The Lark” to me? Our real problem is that we do not have adequate roads in country,” said on driver. The other stated that you cannot fall asleep on the roads of Romania, as the holes would wake you up anyway. He also mentioned that you can drive 12 hours from Munich to Arad in western Romania, and yet the drive between Arad and Bucharest also takes 12 hours…

“Several roads are unlit and have unmarked holes, and there are not enough signs and crosswalks; these problems should be dealt with before making musical roads,” another driver emphasized. Infrastructure expert Paul Dorneanu, cited by digi.24.ro, stated that such campaigns can be described best with a popular Romanian saying: “The country is burning, but the hags comb their hair.” Officials of CNAIR say that the “singing roads” will not mean extra costs; the markings will be made by the company’s own employees.

Title image: Some say the creation of “musical roads” is a joke, as the infrastructure is rather poor in many parts


Author: Éva Zay