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What is Chapter 8?

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Chapter 8 of the Traffic Signs manual was issued by the Department for Transport. It provides guidelines for companies operating on public highways on a whole range of issues including high visibility markings (conspicuity) for vehicles – section O5. Chapter 8 (part 2 section O5) is all about protecting workers and vehicles that have to work on high speed roads, although it recommends the same specifications be used for works vehicles on all types of highway irrespective of speed limit.

Who does it affect?

If affects any operator of large or small vehicles from HGV to road maintenance trucks, small vans and cars that intentionally stop for work purposes or inspections or high speed roads.

Any vehicle engaged in works on the highway not in an established works zone should be of a conspicuous color.

Any works vehicles that are used to protect the workforce or form part of the signing of the works should be of conspicuous color and carry appropriate markings.

In addition, on high-speed roads, all vehicles stopping on the highway for works purposes or inspections shall be equipped with high visibility rear markings.

What should the markings look like?

Either chevron markings or a solid block of fluorescent orange-red retroreflective material.

The chevron markings need to comprise alternate strips of fluorescent orange-red retroreflective material and fluorescent yellow non-retroreflective material, of not less than 150 mm width each, inclined at 45-60° to the horizontal and pointing upwards.

Vehicles used for works purposes shall be identified by displaying to the rear “HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE”. “MOTORWAY MAINTENANCE” may be used instead when working on motorways only.

Where do the markings need to be?

The high visibility markings have to be on the rear of the vehicle and need to cover as much of the rear-facing portion of the vehicle as possible without obscuring windows, vehicle lighting or registration plates.

Where the main body of the vehicle being used is not a recognized conspicuous color (yellow or white) then the above markings should be supplemented by a high visibility fluorescent yellow retroreflective strip, of not less than 50 mm wide, along the side of vehicle as a minimum.

Red retroreflective tape shall also be applied to all rear facing edges of open doors, guardrails and equipment lockers. The illustrations below show how different vehicles are marked up correctly.

What material is recommended?

The combination of 3M materials listed below provides optimum protection for drivers, the public and vehicles.

Red reflective portion of the chevron markings:
3M™ Diamond Grade™ DG3 Reflective Sheeting 4092

  • Exceeds minimum Class RA2 (microprismatic) as specified in Chapter 8
  • Proven prismatic technology provides superior night time reflectivity
  • Visible up to 1000 metres and reflects to nearly 90 degrees
  • Excellent durability and adhesion
  • Edge sealed to prevent moisture and dirt ingress

Yellow non-reflective fluorescent portion of the chevron markings:
3M™ Scotchcal™ Fluorescent Film Saturn Yellow 3485

  • Powerful fluorescent colour for low light and dusk performance
  • Excellent adhesion to vehicle
  • Non-reflective

Source: Traffic Signs Manual, Chapter 8, Traffic Safety Measures and Signs for Road Works and Temporary Situations, Part 2: Operations