Motorway Studs

Motorway studs or reflective cat’s eyes as they’re also called are used on many high speed roads throughout the world.

Often used on roads with little or no lighting such as high speed ‘A’ roads or dual carriageways, they are a safety aid for motorists for establishing the correct lane and maintaining lace discipline at night or times of poor visibility such as rain and fog.

Motorway studs use specific colours depending on the placement. The stud colour signifies which part of you’re driving on. In order to eliminate confusion, the placement colours never change.

The diagram below shows a typical motorway section, along with an exit ‘Slip Road’ with the corresponding reflective stud colours and placement.

Motorway reflective stud placement

Motorway or dual carriageway reflective studs (or cat’s eyes as they are also referred to) are designed to be most effective in poor light conditions by reflecting light back to the driver to signify which part of the motorway they are driving on, or where they might need to exit.

The colour of the studs always has the same placement on motorways and dual carriageways. Questions relating to reflective road studs are often asked during the theory test.

Motorway studs
Reflective motorway stud (cat’s eyes) placement

Cat’s eyes colours

  • Red

    motorway studs are placed along the hard shoulder of both motorways and dual carriageways. They can also be seen on the left of certain A or busy B roads.

  • Amber

    motorway studs are placed to the far right, running alongside the central reservation.

  • Green

    motorway studs indicate where a junction either joins or leaves a motorway, often called a motorway slip road.

  • White

    motorway studs are placed between the lanes of dual carriageways or motorways.

  • Blue

    motorway studs can occasionally be seen and are for the use of the emergency services.

Motorways and the theory test

The driving theory test involves multiple choice answer with questions covering many aspects of road safety and regulations. Several of these questions will relate to motorway safety, driving rules and motorway reflective stud colours and their placements on the road.


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