Lights and reflectors could prevent many of the crashes involving heavy vehicles. The Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Lighting 2004 sets out the lighting requirements for heavy vehicles. These requirements maximise the lighting for the driver's benefit while avoiding inconvenience to other road users.

Heavy vehicle lighting requirements

Your vehicle must have:

  • white or amber headlights and forward-facing side lamps

  • red brake lights and tail lights facing towards the rear

  • white or amber direction indicator lamps facing towards the front

  • red or amber direction lamps facing towards the rear

  • red rear reflectors

  • a white rear registration plate light.

Your vehicle must not:

  • use lights of any other colour than those listed above

  • use or display any revolving lights without our permission

  • be marked or displayed in any way that could confuse other motorists about which way your vehicle is facing

  • display a sign that looks like a traffic sign

  • display any markings that may make the vehicle look like an emergency service vehicle.

Using retro-reflective material

Outlining the front, rear and sides of your vehicle with retro-reflective material significantly improves its visibility. This material reflects other motorists' lights back off your vehicle. Reflective 'conspicuity tape' is effective, and quick and easy to apply. To be effective, the tape should be at least 50mm wide and be clean.

Requirements for retro-reflective tape

 DOT-C2 or E in circle mark

Examples of approved standards markings:

  • The tape should bear either the DOT-C2 or E in circle mark.

  • When used around lamps, it should be the same colour as the lamps.

  • Use yellow or white/silver tape on the sides of your vehicle.

  • Use yellow or white/silver tape on the front of your vehicle.

  • Use red or alternating red and white/silver tape on the rear of your vehicle.

Reflective advertising can also improve your vehicle's visibility. But make sure it doesn't divert attention away from lights and indicators.