How could Chapter 8 affect your business?
What is Chapter 8?
The ‘Traffic Signs Manual’ from the Department for Transport is a complex piece of literature which provides legal requirements for all vehicles operating on public highways, dealing with road works and temporary situations. The details can be found in Chapter 8, part 3: ‘Traffic Safety Measures and Signs for Road Works and Temporary Situations’. These regulations are often referred to simply as ‘Chapter 8’.
If your business operates vehicles that are compelled to stop on public highways for inspections or works purposes, you are subject to laws which require your vehicles to carry high-visibility markings. This impacts operators of highway maintenance or traffic management vehicles, including cars, trucks and vans. Whether your vehicles are hired or owned, they must meet Chapter 8 requirements.
How to comply
Your vehicles must display rear-mounted chevrons to improve visibility. Typically, these comprise strips of fluorescent red retro-reflective material and fluorescent yellow non-retro-reflective material. They should each be at least 150mm wide, and must point upwards, angled at 45-60°.
The recommended livery of chevron markings falls into three categories:
– vehicles weighing less than 7.5 tonnes that stop or operate for work purposes (generally cars and vans)
– vehicles above 7.5 tonnes that stop or operate for work purposes (gritters, spreaders, sweepers, tippers and recovery trucks)
– mobile support and incident units.
For the under and over 7.5 tonne specifications, Chapter 8 recommends that lockers, door edging and guardrail strips be decked out in red microprismatic material. The maintenance vehicles belonging to these categories may display ‘HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE’, ‘MOTORWAY MAINTENANCE’ or ‘ROAD MAINTENANCE’ lettering as appropriate. Non-reflective black text should appear on reflective, non-reflective or retro-reflective yellow.
For mobile and incident support units, rear chevrons in red microprismatic material and fluorescent yellow-green are recommended, with additional side markings angled at 45°.
In addition to chevrons, solid fluorescent red retro-reflective material is permitted; however, the red-and-yellow chevron design is thought to supply greater visibility.
Chapter 8 chevrons are available from suppliers including https://www.vehiclechevrons.com/.
The government’s traffic signs manual is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/traffic-signs-manual.
If you rent your vehicles – truck hire, for example – and your occupation compels you to stop on a high-speed road or motorway, it is important to ensure that your vehicles are equipped with the required markings to meet Chapter 8 regulations.