Easy guide to Chapter 8 vehicle markings
2nd June 2021
This guide to Chapter 8 vehicle markings will help you understand the Chapter 8 legal status and make sure to know what are your requirements.
Chapter 8 and its legal status
The use of chapter 8 compliant vehicle livery is considered best practice and Vehicle Chevrons recommend that any vehicles stopping on UK roads for works or inspection purposes should be compliant.
The Chapter 8 documentation is a weighty and fairly complex piece of literature published by the Department for Transport that deals with legal requirements for temporary situations and road works (under which all vehicles operating on highways fall) and is available from the Department for Transport website.
Compliance with these specifications is recommended for use on all types of highways, particularly on high speed roads (above 40mph).
Recently, material standards have been raised and should now meet class R3B performance (typically high grade micropsrismatic).
Find out more about REMA Chapter 8 best practice guide update.
“Even if Chapter 8 is not legislation, by not complying with these guidelines you are leaving yourself open to potential legal action should an accident happen involving your vehicles.“
What are ‘Chapter 8 compliant’ markings?
Chapter 8 vehicle markings are upward facing chevrons in red and yellow alternating stripes.
Each chevron stripe should be no less than 150mm in width (larger on big vehicles), angled upwards between 45 and 60 degrees.
The red stripes must be of retro-reflective material, designed to maximise night-time visibility, whilst the fluorescent yellow stripes are non-reflective, providing good daytime visibility and contrast to the red.
Note that it is also acceptable to have complete coverage of red retro-reflective material in place of chevrons on the rear, but the red/yellow combination is generally considered to give the greater all round conspicuity.
“These markings should cover as much of the rear facing portion of the vehicle as possible without obscuring windows, vehicle lighting or registration plates.“
Other Chapter 8 vehicle markings requirements
In addition, maintenance vehicles will need “HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE” text.
“MOTORWAY MAINTENANCE” may be used instead when working on motorways only.
This text must be a minimum of 70mm high for temporary traffic management vehicles and 140mm for all other vehicles carrying personnel or equipment.
ECE-104 marking tape
A strip of micro-prismatic grade material that is a minimum of 50mm wide must be fitted along either side of vehicle whilst red retroreflective tape shall also be applied to all rear facing edges of open doors, guardrails and equipment lockers.
Additional visibility markings
Where rear facing high visibility markings may be obscured by any device mounted on the vehicle (e.g. lorry-mounted crash cushion (LMCC) or cone laying adaptation), additional high visibility rear markings shall be applied to any face of the device which is displayed to the rear and other road users.
Chapter 8 guide
Vehicle Chevrons have produced a guide that condenses the Chapter 8 documentation in a downloadable PDF file.
In addition to this, Vehicle Chevrons have worked as part of REMA (Retroreflective Equipment Manufacturers Association) to produce a more “in-depth” document to provide guidance regarding Chapter 8 vehicle markings.
The guide has been recently updated (May 2021). The original document can be viewed on the REMA website and is duplicated on VehicleChevrons.com. Find more about the increased material performance requirements in the dedicated post.