A beginner’s guide to vehicle conspicuity markings

In 2011, Chapter 8 of the Traffic Signs Manual (Traffic Safety Measures & Signs for Road Works & Temporary Situations) was issued by the Department for Transport (DfT). Along with a number of other guidelines, it provides information on the types of conspicuity marking required for vehicles that stop on highways for work purposes.

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Legislation has since made it compulsory that all new trucks and trailers carry rear conspicuity markings when used as works vehicles on the public highway. The DfT Code of Practice for Safety at Street Work and Road Works recommends that all works vehicles, whether new or old, should be marked with rear conspicuity materials.

Where the markings are not used and a serious accident takes place, those who have not followed the safety guidelines risk being liable for damages or even face criminal charges. A full explanation of the markings required for goods vehicles is available from the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

Who does it affect?

The requirement for Chapter 8 chevrons affects any operator of small or large vehicles, from vans to HGVs, that stop for work or inspections on high-speed roads.

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What kind of markings are required?

High-visibility film markings must be placed on the rear of the vehicle and should consist of either chevrons or a solid block of fluorescent red-orange reflective material.


Chapter 8 chevrons should consist of fluorescent red and yellow retro-reflective material not less than 150mm wide for each colour and inclined at 45 to 60 degrees.

Solid block strip

The strip should be fluorescent red-orange reflective material that covers as much of the rear face of the vehicle as possible without obscuring the vehicle’s lighting, windows or equipment in any way.

Red retro-reflective tape should be placed along all rear door-edges, rails or equipment lockers.

Further information and tailored advice is available from providers such as https://www.vehiclechevrons.com/. There are a vast array of vehicle types and body designs, so companies will need to thoroughly research the required markings for their fleet.

The shape, design and operational details pertaining to a specific vehicle may make it impossible to fully comply with the legislation. In this instance, it will be acceptable to use line marking only. Derogations exist where a manufacturer can prove that it is impossible for them to comply with the 80 per cent marking requirement.


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