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An introduction to Chapter 8 safety requirements

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The origins of vehicle conspicuity markings can be traced back to EU regulation aimed at drawing other drivers’ attention to the presence of large and slower-moving heavy goods vehicles, and thereby decreasing the chance of accidents. Previously, the use of such markings for heavy goods vehicles in the UK was optional, but the UNECE Regulation 48 now requires all EU member states to mandate the use of conspicuity markings for heavy goods vehicles registered since July 2011.

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Who is affected?

While the EU regulations only apply to heavy goods vehicles, the DfT’s Safety at Street Works and Road Works code of practice states that all works vehicles must be conspicuous in order to decrease the risk of roadside accidents. The DtF considers any vehicle stopping by the side of a highway for work-related purposes to be a works vehicle – this includes emergency response vehicles, public utility vehicles and highway maintenance vehicles.

Compliance

In order to assist vehicle owners in complying with the conspicuity markings requirements, the DfT has published a Traffic Signs Manual and the applicable provisions relating to vehicles can be found in Chapter 8 – hence why the vehicle conspicuity markings are often referred to as Chapter 8 chevrons.

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In summary, the DfT states that conspicuity markings must meet the following criteria:
• Chevrons must be comprised of alternating rows of retroreflective orange/red and yellow non-retroreflective material
• Each strip of material must be no less than 150 mm wide and inclined at 45–60° to the horizontal, to create a triangular shape
• The chevrons should cover as much of the rear of the vehicle as possible without obscuring windows, lights or the registration plate.

Complying with rear conspicuity marking requirements can be difficult for vehicle fleet operators, because not only do the conspicuity markings need to meet certain design standards laid out in Chapter 8, but the materials used to create the markings also need to meet certain standards. Therefore, it is recommended to get all works vehicles professionally fitted with Chapter 8 chevrons, such as with https://www.vehiclechevrons.com/.

A knowledgeable expert will be able to advise fleet owners on the design for each type of vehicle, as well as to provide advice on the best materials and level of service required to ensure that the retroreflective markings meet the necessary requirements.

Rony Bhuyan

Rony Bhuyan is a writer, online marketer and part-time graphics designer with a background in Finance. A regular contributor to Speaky Magazine and Tech Magazine. His real passion, however, lies in helping his clients.

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