Tasked with painting road markings across the Principality, Stéphane Meoli has looked after Monaco’s white lines for almost nine years now. Passionate about keeping people safe, you might see him out on the roads. But only if you are an early riser or a night owl!
8.30 in the morning and the sun is just starting to shine in the Principality. As the city wakes and the temperature rises, over in the Monte-Carlo Beach carpark, Stéphane Meoli is just finishing his day’s work. Putting his tools away, he has spent the morning marking out a new path, as well as giving a pedestrian crossing and a new speed bump a fresh lick of paint.
Illuminated by the sun’s rays, the new road markings at the Monte-Carlo Beach are on full display. Catching sight of the new speed bump, added to the hotel carpark to slow traffic down, a lady turns around to take in this new feature. “Most people pay no attention to what I do,” he smiles. “To be honest, when I was younger, I wasn’t particularly interested either. I never imagined I’d be doing this job.”
I’ve repainted most of the markings in Monaco at least once.
However, since turning 29, after trying his hand at several other jobs in Monaco, employed as “a waiter, a removal man and an electrician,” Stéphane Meoli is now in charge of painting the Principality’s road markings. Initially employed by the government, he went on to start his own business two years ago. “I’ve repainted most of the markings in Monaco at least once,” laughs the 37 year old, originally from Menton. “My very first job, if I remember correctly, was the pedestrian crossing opposite Decathlon in Fontvieille.”
Adding some colour to the Grand Prix corners
Whilst his hours are not the most sociable, Stéphane Meoli has come to enjoy his shift pattern. “I have to work awkward hours, either very early in the morning or during the night, when there is less traffic.” Every job is different and no two days, or rather nights, are ever the same. When the Grand Prix comes to Monaco, this is the man who transforms the streets ready for the Formula 1 action.
“I work with resin a lot and I also do the red and white markings on the corners too. I take on a lot of the work for the Grand Prix. I’m in charge of the tunnel and doing all of the horizontal signage.” Once the drivers cross the finish line for the final time, he is sure to leave the Principality’s streets exactly as he found them, repainting all of the original markings.
In Thailand, I saw some road markers. It was absolute chaos!
“I’ve been to Thailand, Cambodia, French Guiana, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and next up is Japan.” Passionate about travelling, whilst he grew up in Beausoleil and now lives in Antibes, he loves to explore and look at how people in other countries do his job. “In Thailand, I saw some road markers. It was absolute chaos! With so much traffic on the roads over there, I don’t know how they manage to paint the lines.”
Monaco, a shining example of safety
In Monaco, Stéphane Meoli plays a key part in keeping the roads safe. For him, there is no doubt about it, the Principality is one of the safest places in the world. “There are lots of pedestrian crossings and they’re all very well located. On the whole, road markings are always top quality. After two or three years though, the markings start to fade. But in Monaco, the government makes sure to send teams out to fix them during the day. They respond very quickly.”
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Sometimes, when people see Stéphane Meoli’s red and white colours on street corners, they start getting ideas. “People have beautiful cars and love driving fast. Then when they go past a corner on the circuit, they feel as if they’re in the race…”. Whilst he plays a huge part in preparing Monaco for the Grand Prix, fancy cars and Formula 1 do not really appeal to him. Holidays are what he loves the most, as well as walking in the mountains and playing football.
I sometimes work with my wife, I trained her, she’s pretty good
“I played at AS Monaco for quite a few years when I was younger. I stopped just before going to the training centre though.” Now, happily married, his is flourishing both at work and at home. “I sometimes work with my wife, I trained her, she’s pretty good.” Looking ahead, he hopes to continue with his career for many years to come. As for his next project, look out for him working on the road markings in front of one of the Principality’s petrol stations. If you bump into him, make sure to say hello. But watch your step, the white lines might still be wet!