A six-year Caltrans study that concluded in the early 2000s showed that accident rates weren’t significantly affected whether the dots were there or not. The state agency then spent years weighing the dots’ pros and cons before deciding they were no longer worth the maintenance effort – or the risk to workers.
“It’s an older technology that’s getting phased out,” said Gaspar Inzunza, a Caltrans maintenance supervisor in Orange County. “Having a newer technology completely replace it is ideal. It’s safer and more cost effective
Inzunzan has seen, in his eight years with the state, technology improve such as thermoplastic striping that reflects more light in the dark and rain, and with plastic composite markers that stand up to traffic for years longer than the dots.