Retro-reflective material at the rear of heavy vehicles: determining whether usage is in line with the updated traffic regulations

A survey conducted at three of the country's toll plazas and one heavy vehicle checkpoint next to a fourth toll plaza, in August 2002, aimed to establish how many of the heavy vehicles using South African roads carry the regulatory yellow retro-reflective tape correctly, at the back. The tape is expected to alert drivers coming up behind heavy vehicles in the dark, at high speed, to their presence and size. Head/rear collisions cause severe damage to the rear vehicle and its occupants, and can involve multiple fatalities. More collisions occur during the night than during the day. The Department of Transport's May 2002 statistics found that most crashes occur between 18:00 and 23:00. 56 per cent of the crashes involved trucks, though how many of these were sedan head/rear collisions with the truck ahead, was not defined. Psychometric testing has proved that the comfort zone into which night drivers often retreat, due to boredom and fatigue, is an ever-present threat. In the absence of several other cars, they can see nothing beyond the range of their vehicle lights, on which to focus. The field of vision narrows considerably and they fail to notice lights well within their peripheral vision or line of sight.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 9p
  • Monograph Title: Loads roads and the information highway: 8th International Symposium on Heavy Vehicle Weights and Dimensions, 14-18 March 2004, Misty Hills Conference Centre, Muldersdrift, Gauteng, South Africa

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01390963
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • ISBN: 1920017305
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 23 2012 5:10AM