Tunnel Safety

  • Dangerous goods vehicles are prohibited from travelling in Sydney’s tunnels.
  • Refer to the Transport for NSW website for information about dangerous goods.
Sydney’s road tunnels are built to strict safety standards. Safety features installed on the M5 East to minimise the risk to motorists in the event of an incident include:
  • an emergency broadcasting system is transmitted through your vehicle’s AM and FM radio and loudspeakers
  • electronic message boards to deliver important safety messages
  • identified emergency exits
  • flashing lights to guide you to emergency exits
  • emergency phones to connect you with the M5 East Control Room
  • fire extinguishers and emergency phones located throughout the tunnels at least every 60 metres
  • deluge water sprays or sprinklers for use in a fire
  • emergency barriers at tunnel entry points to stop vehicles driving into a hazardous situation
  • continuous monitoring of the motorway via Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras by the M5 East Control Room
  • incident response crews.
Before you enter a tunnel there are a few things you should do:
  • close your windows
  • turn your air conditioning to recycle
  • turn on your radio
  • take your sunglasses off (unless optical prescription glasses)
  • switch on your head lights
  • check electronic message boards and signage
  • when travelling in the tunnel, keep a safe gap from the car in front of you and avoid changing lanes if possible
  • more information about safety in Sydney’s major road tunnels.

'Tunnel Ahead' sign

  • The M5 East main tunnel has a maximum height of 4.6 metres.
  • The Cooks River tunnel has a maximum height of 4.4 metres.
  • Do not enter the tunnel if you are driving an over-height vehicle.
  • Observe roadside signs for the alternative route provided.
  • Refer to the Transport for NSW website for more information regarding load and height restrictions.
M5 East main and Cooks River tunnel height limits
  • All oversized vehicles (e.g. wide loads) are required to obtain a permit from Transport for NSW to use the M5 East Motorway. 
  • Refer to the Transport for NSW website for more about oversize and/or overmass vehicles and loads.