Archive / Blue Reflector Trials

Blue Reflector Trials

Based on work carried out by Rod Hannifey, road agencies are conducting a number of trials using a system of blue reflectors. These reflectors are used to pre-warn heavy vehicle drivers they are approaching an informal rest area. Informal rest areas are usually suitable unvegetated areas of road reserve or other land alongside freight routes. Potential sites are checked out by road agencies before being marked up with reflectors as being suitable for heavy vehicle parking.

Blue and red reflectors are used to highlight these informal rest areas for drivers unfamiliar with the route and looking for a rest area to take a break. Many of these sites are unsealed and are suitable for use in dry weather only, however, in some cases such as on the Newell, they can be used nearly all year round.

Benefits of Blue Reflector System

  • The system allows truck drivers to approach sites in a controlled manner without sudden braking or without having to drive at low speed to look for a stopping place;
  • Informal rest areas can be identified both during the day and at night time; and
  • The system encourages heavy vehicle drivers to use stopping places with adequate sight distance for safety.

How it Works

Reflectors are spaced as follows:

  • Guide post 1 is marked with 1 red reflector + 3 blue reflectors and is located approximately 500 metres before the rest area.
  • Guide post 2 is marked with 1 red reflector + 2 blue reflectors and is located approximately 250 metres before the rest area.
  • Guide post 3 is marked with 1 red reflector + 1 blue reflector and is located immediately before the rest area.

Update on Blue Reflector System

In NSW, the RTA has been conducting a trial of the blue reflector system on the Newell Highway between Gilgandra and Parkes over the last 5 years. About 35 heavily used informal truck rest areas have been marked using a system of blue and red reflectors. In Queensland, the Border District is conducting a blue reflector trial involving about 68 sites on highways in the Warwick area and on several sites in the Goondiwindi and Toowoomba areas. In the Northern Territory, a trial is being conducted involving unofficial truck parking bays between Katherine and Tennant Creek. Crash data for the Newell Highway trial shows that there has been a reduction in heavy vehicle crashes on this section of highway over the course of the trial, compared with the rest of the highway, however the results are not of statistical significance.


Blue Reflector System in Use on Newell Highway (134.95 KB)
Blue Reflector Poster - QLD (0.91 MB)
Rest Areas Blue Reflector Poster RTA NSW (105.32 KB)

Last Updated: 1/7/2015