Rumble strips

What are rumble strips?

Rumble strips are partially-raised lines used to mark traffic lanes on the road. They make a ‘rumbling’ sound and cause a vehicle to vibrate when driven over, alerting drivers and riders that they’re moving out of their lane.

Rumble strips can appear both black and white, and can be used as a centre line to separate traffic travelling in opposite directions, or they can be used to mark the outer edge of the road.

Why are rumble strips being installed on regional roads?

Drivers and riders unintentionally leave their lane for a range of reasons including drowsiness, a lapse in attention, distraction or being affected by drugs  or alcohol.

This is a serious safety issue – around one in three people who are seriously injured or killed on Victorian roads have been involved in a crash caused by vehicles leaving their lane.

To reduce this risk, we’re installing rumble strips on regional roads to warn drivers who unintentionally stray from their lanes. There’s good evidence to show they work - in NSW, rumble strips have halved the number of vehicles accidentally travelling out of their lane and running off the road.

Is there a difference between black and white rumble strips?

There are no significant differences between black and white rumble strips. Both perform their task with equal effectiveness, however black rumble strips can be applied in combination with white painted line markings.

Will rumble strips damage my car?

No, the vibrations from rumble strips are noticeable, but not severe enough to damage a car. Rumble strips have been widely used on roads for many years with no reports of vehicle damage.

Where are rumble strips being installed?

As part of Towards Zero, we’re installing over 2,500 kilometres of rumble strips on some of Victoria’s most at-risk roads. We’re focusing on high-speed regional roads that have experienced a high number of crashes resulting in people being seriously injured or killed.

How noisy are they?

Rumble strips are loud enough to be heard by the driver, but not excessively loud. They can sometimes be heard by people outside the vehicle or those living nearby depending on the type of vehicle and the noise conditions (such as wind direction and physical noise barriers such as trees).

Do rumble strips affect local residents?

The noise made by rumble strips may sometimes be a concern to people living close to the road. To make sure we’re considering the needs of drivers, riders and residents, VicRoads consults with local communities before installing rumble strips. In some cases, we may use a modified design or alternative solution to meet the safety needs of our roads with minimal disturbance to land owners.

For more information or to discuss rumble strips being installed near you, contact VicRoads at

Are rumble strips safe for motorbikes?

The sounds and vibrations from rumble strips  are gentle enough to be safe and comfortable for

motorcycle riders. They’re also effective at alerting riders who unintentionally stray from their lane.

Of course, riders should avoid riding over rumble strips when travelling around curves (particularly at high speeds) to ensure normal stability, and riding within traffic lanes is always recommended.

How are rumble strips installed?

Rumble strips are installed using road marking machines that apply a heated plastic strip to the road. The raised strips are about 1.2 centimetres high with gaps of about 10 centimetres between each raised point.

Who can I speak to about rumble strips in my area?

For questions or concerns about rumble strips near you, contact VicRoads at