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Making tunnels and underpasses safer

The latest standards applying to lighting for roads and public spaces are contained in Australian Standard AS/NZS 1158.5:2007.

The standard ‘Lighting for roads and public spaces – Tunnels and Underpasses’ covers lighting for tunnels, underpasses and under bridges. Standards Australia says even minor accidents in tunnels and underpasses can have a serious effect on the smooth operation of the surrounding road network.

It says the standard outlines the specifications for luminaire and design data to help overcome the “black hole” that drivers encounter when they approach tunnel portals.

The standard is for use by designers, consultants, owners and operators of lighting schemes for tunnels and underpasses. Standards Australia says, however, the design of tunnel lighting schemes is complex and involves the use of specialist computer software. It says design should be undertaken only by experienced designers.

The standard does not deal with lighting schemes for underpasses solely for pedestrian/cyclist traffic. Underpasses and shorter tunnels are often designed to carry a mixture of vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians, but long tunnels typically cater only for vehicle traffic.

The standard can be found at

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