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What is Chapter 8 and are you compliant?

Chapter 8 livery is thought to be Department for Transport (DfT) best practice; therefore, vehicles that stop on roads in the UK for inspection or works purposes should follow official recommendations.

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Good practice means that the minimum requirement must always be achieved. Legal action may be taken if you do not comply with the guidelines and an accident happens.

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Health and Safety at Work (NI) Order 1978 compel all employers, employees and clients to maintain safe work systems. Chapter 8 can be thought of as representing what is reasonable for the enforcement of both acts.

Chapter 8 lays down a code of practice that enables the requirements in law to be achieved in a mixture of circumstances. Although it does not have statutory force, apart from in Northern Ireland, many of the governing principles are covered in the Safety at Street Works and Road Works – A Code of Practice.

Chapter 8 chevrons can be obtained from suppliers such as https://www.vehiclechevrons.com/, while the government’s Traffic Sign Manual https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/203670/traffic-signs-manual-chapter-08-part-02.pdf provides official detailed guidance.

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Chapter 8 compliant markings

All vehicles that stop on the road for inspections or works purposes must:

– have high-visibility markings at the rear.
– be a conspicuous colour, such as white or yellow.

High-visibility markings at the rear should be made up of either:

– Strips of BS EN 12899-1 retro-reflective grade coloured orange-red and fluorescent yellow, which must be no smaller than 150mm wide.
– An entire block of fluorescent material coloured retro-reflective orange-red.

Maintenance vehicles also need to bear text stating ‘motorway maintenance’ or ‘highway maintenance’ as appropriate. This writing must be at least 70mm high in the case of vehicles for temporary traffic management and 140mm for all other vehicles.

A strip of micro-prismatic-grade material no smaller than 50mm wide must be fitted on either side of the vehicle, while retro-reflective tape coloured red should be applied to every rear-facing edge of guardrails, open doors and equipment lockers.

When rear-facing high-visibility markings are obscured by devices mounted on the vehicle, such as cone-laying adaptation or a lorry-mounted crash cushion, extra high-visibility markings at the rear must be applied to any available face visible to other road users.

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