Truck Noise Advisory Signs

Document No:  D10#70156
Revision:  2
Date amended:  15-Apr-2010

The information below is intended to reflect the preferred practice of Main Roads Western Australia ("Main Roads"). Main Roads reserves the right to update this information at any time without notice. If you have any questions or comments regarding the Application and Approval Guidelines please contact John Moore by e-mail or on (08) 9323 4604. 

To the extent permitted by law, Main Roads, its employees, agents, authors and contributors are not liable for any loss resulting from any action taken or reliance made by you on the information herein displayed.


Revision Register

Ed/Version Number Clause Number Description of Revision Date
1 All Guideline Developed 17-Feb-2006
2 All Guideline Reviewed 15-Apr-2010


Table of Content

PART A:  Policy Statement

Truck noise advisory signs will be provided where designated freight routes abut built up residential areas, subject to Guideline conditions.


PART B:  Application & Approval Guidelines


1.1 Definitions

Unless otherwise indicated in the text of this Guideline:

AS means Australian Standard

Built-Up Area Speed Limit means the 50 km/h speed limit applicable to a built up area as defined in the Road Traffic Code 2000, Part 1 - Preliminary. This may include structures devoted to business industry or dwellings.

Default State Speed Limit means the maximum speed limit applicable to a non-speed zoned road as defined in the Road Traffic Code 2000, Part 1 - Preliminary.

Local road means a road under the control of Local Government.

Main Roads means Main Roads Western Australia.

Residential Area means an area that is predominantly zoned for occupied by dwellings.

State road means a highway and main road under the control of Main Roads Western Australia.

Trucks means vehicles that are Class 3 or above in the Austroads Vehicle Classification system.

VPD means vehicles per day.

1.2 Background

Many heavy vehicles are fitted with engine compression brakes to relieve the loads exerted on traditional braking systems working at the wheels.

The use of engine compression brakes in urban areas can cause noise disturbance to residents in particular areas and was identified as a major community concern in the 2001 Road Train Summits.

Most States have produced some guidelines regarding the use of engine brake signage, but most see the use of signage as a short-term measure that will only be used until effective regulation of engine noise is implemented.

The National Transport Commission is working to set a level for engine braking that is acceptable to the community. A Regulatory Impact Statement will be produced once the level has been set and truck operators will be required to comply with the levels specified.  It is expected that these levels will be enforced by roadside measurement, similar to the way Multanova speed cameras work, and offending vehicles will be required to make changes to comply with the noise requirements.

Targeting the use of signs to the most critical locations and prevent sign overuse may be an effective way to encourage drivers to reduce vehicle noise in noise sensitive areas.

1.3 Purpose

The purpose of this document is to detail Main Roads requirements for use of and location of truck noise advisory signs on applicable routes.

Main Roads primary objective of these guidelines is to minimise noise levels from trucks and heavy vehicles whilst travelling through residential areas.


2.1 Applicable Routes

Truck noise advisory signs shall only be considered on routes designated on the Restricted Access Vehicle Networks that abut built-up residential areas.

Maps are located under Heavy Vehicles RAV Mapping System.

2.2 Conditions

Main Roads specific requirements for the installation of truck noise signs are as follows:

  • Posted speed limit shall be 80 km/h or less,
  • Abutting areas shall be predominantly residential rather than commercial, and meeting built-up area as defined in the Road Traffic Code,
  • Truck volumes shall be 100 vpd and comprise 10% or more of the 24 hour traffic volume,
  • Sign locations shall be 300 metres or more in advance of a requirement for traffic to stop or slow (eg. signals, roundabout, pedestrian crossing stop or give way signs, curves, or road sections commonly subject to congestion) or steep downgrades,
  • Signs shall be sited at least 5 kilometres apart on a particular route, for each direction of travel, or at least 10 kilometres apart where the route is in excess of 20 kilometres,
  • Sites shall not be selected on the basis of managing an individual complainant at a specific location,
  • Only one sign should be used on each entrance to a rural town.

2.3 Funding

Main Roads is responsible for funding signs on State roads.

The relevant Local Government is responsible for funding signs on Local roads.


3.1 Applications

Applications for truck noise advisory signs should be addressed to the Traffic Services Co-ordinator for the Metropolitan Region and the Customer Services Manager in the Regional Office.

The applicant should provide the following information:

  • Applicants Name, Postal Address, E-mail Address and Telephone Number,
  • Road Name and Section (linked to a physical landmark eg intersection),
  • Nature of the problem (truck noise or general traffic noise).

3.2 Approval

The locations for truck noise advisory signs shall be approved by the Metropolitan Traffic Services Manager for the Metropolitan Region, or the relevant Regional Manager in the Regional Office, prior to implementation.

On Local roads, concurrence for truck noise advisory signs should also be obtained from the relevant Local Government.

3.3 Sign Details
Details of the truck noise advisory signs are given on drawing 200531-0040.