ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Should Fire Engines be Red? Contemporary Urban Fire Fighting Vehicles ? Visibility, Warning Devices and Local Area Traffic Management

Doyle, Roger

Heavy Vehicles


This paper explores contemporary fire service vehicles, the results of recent conspicuity trials that explored base the colours of red, lime yellow and white. Also considered was the highly reflective banding (candy-striping) used around the vehicles, plus the warning beacons now widely deployed and sirens.

Difficulties in heavy vehicle operation when responding to emergency incidents in congested inner-city areas and problems presented by traffic calming devices is considered following analysis of the width, turning circles and gradients appropriate to negotiate narrow roads. Extensive field tests were carried out to verify the correctness of the assumptions.

A NSWFB Recommended Practice Guidelines Emergency Vehicle Access was subsequently prepared for the benefit of town planners, civil engineers and designers of road systems. A copy is included in the conference papers.