Chapter 8 is a set of commonly referred to guidelines for vehicles that may be involved in work undertaken on roads. The compliance with Chapter 8 is therefore important for worker and other drivers’ safety while on the road. To understand and simplify Chapter 8 compliance requirements, our vehicle reflective experts here at Lakeside Group have put together this helpful guide to Chapter 8 compliant vehicle reflections.
As active members of the Retroreflective Equipment Manufacturers Association (REMA) since 2008 and experienced providers of vehicle reflective, our team know all there is to know about vehicle, road sign, branding and traffic reflective products and compliance.
What is Chapter 8?
Chapter 8 is part of the Department of Transport’s Traffic Signs Manual, and outlines requirements for ‘Traffic Safety Measures and Signs for Road Works and Temporary Situations’. It is not currently law in England (elsewhere in the UK Chapter 8 compliance is mandatory), however compliance with Chapter 8 is seen as best practice, with local authorities and highway maintenance insisting on compliance.
It was recently updated in 2020 to now include the requirement of R3B materials for certain instances of vehicle reflectives.
Which vehicles does Chapter 8 apply to?
Any vehicles which will stop or be used for work purposes on a highway or high-speed road should follow Chapter 8 requirements. Vehicles included in this may be cars, vans, gritters, road sweepers, tippers, recovery trucks, to name but a few.
Compliance to Chapter 8 for these vehicles entails conspicuity markings, chevrons in this instance, to warn other drivers of the vehicles’ presence.
How to be Chapter 8 compliant
Although the Traffic Signs Manual covers all UK roads and vehicles, requirements vary across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Check variants depending on location prior to purchasing products.
In accordance with Chapter 8, vehicles should have chevrons covering as much of the rear of the vehicle as possible, without obscuring windows, lights or registration plates. The chevrons should be upward facing and have yellow and red alternating stripes at least >150mm wide and angled between 45 and 60 degrees. The red stripes should be retroreflective for night time visibility and the yellow stripes non-reflective for daytime visibility.
If a vehicle is not a conspicuous colour (i.e. yellow or white), Chapter 8 requires a 50mm side marking using yellow micro-prismatic material running the length of the vehicle. This furthers the vehicles’ visibility to other drivers.
It is acceptable to have the rear covering be of red retroreflective material instead of chevrons. However, chevrons are the most widely recognised conspicuity marking for road work vehicles.
Retroreflective material requirements
The updated Chapter 8 recommends the use of Class R3B materials on high speed roads, with Class R2 the requirement for low-speed roads (<40 mph). Class R1 materials are not recommended for works vehicles.
Vehicles used for highway or motorway maintenance must clearly label vehicles, using non-reflective black material for the title ‘Highway Maintenance’.
Red retroreflective strips are to be used, as instructed in Chapter 8, to mark edges such as rear facing edges of doors and guardrails.
Vehicles over 7.5 tonnes
Vehicles over 7.5 tonnes must have directional arrows that incorporate flashing lights to highlight messages to other drivers to keep left or right of the obstructing vehicle. This is alongside required chevrons.
Chapter 8 compliant vehicle reflectives from Lakeside Group
The best way to ensure compliance with Chapter 8 is to consult the experts and source quality, effective materials.
Here at Lakeside Group we provide a range of reflective specifically for Chapter 8 rear markings, including entry level engineering grade (R1) up to high grade R2 and R3B products. For those looking for R3B products, as recommended for high speed roads, we offer a variety of high quality micro-prismatic grade materials such as Avery T6508, Aura 191 and Avery V8000.
Our durable and purpose made materials ensure reflectives that last the years and maintain brightness over the vehicle’s lifetime.
Learn more with Lakeside Group
As specialist suppliers and manufacturers of high quality reflective and fluorescent products, we have the experience and expertise to help you find the right products to fit your needs. If you are looking to make your vehicles Chapter 8 compliant, or for assistance with any of our other services, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Our expert team are on hand to help.