Botts' Dots freeway markers being phased out in California

LOS ANGELES -- Those round, raised, white markers on California freeways, called Botts' Dots, are being phased out due to cost.

The markers, which are meant to remind you to stay in your lane, are being retired because they've become too costly to maintain, according to Caltrans.

Also, a six-year study showed that they don't really prevent accidents as some people contend. Plus, there's just better technology out there.

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"Where you see Botts' Dots now, you will now in the future see thermoplastic striping," said Michael Comeaux, a Caltrans spokesman.

That striping will contain tiny glass beads that have a great deal of reflectivity.

There is no plan to actively replace Botts' Dots, but the markers will be phased out as road work is done.

Botts' Dots are named for Elbert D. Botts, a Caltrans engineer who came up with the idea and oversaw the development in 1953 of the raised markers to help note lane separations. Caltrans says there are roughly 20 million Botts' Dots in place on California roads.

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