Safety at Street Works and Road Works A Code of Practice


Important changes governing vehicle conspicuity have been made to the Chapter 8 regulations of the Traffic Signs Manual published by the Department for Transport.

The new rules cover vehicle fleets working on, or near, the UK highways, and include the following:

  • Any vehicle stopping on the highway for work purposes should be of a conspicuous colour (e.g. yellow or white).
  • Any works vehicles that are used to protect the workforce should be of conspicuous colour and carry appropriate marking.
  • On high-speed roads, all vehicles stopping on the highway for works purposes should carry high visibility rear markings, including chevrons comprising alternate strips of fluorescent orange-red retroreflective material and fluorescent yellow non-retroreflective material.
  • The markings should cover as much of the rear-facing portion of the vehicle as possible without obscuring windows, vehicle lighting or registration plates.
  • Red retroreflective tape should also be applied to all rear facing edges of open doors, guardrails and equipment lockers. has considerable expertise in helping to ensure that companies comply with what can seem a complex set of regulations. It’s essential for the safety of all road users that working vehicles can be seen – if you need help, go to the Contact page.


Are you ready for important new conspicuity regulations impacting on commercial vehicle safety?

From July 2011, the new regulation – called ECE104 – will confirm the use of retro-reflective safety markings on newly registered heavy goods vehicles operating throughout Europe.

Fleets running HGVs of 7.5 tonnes or more or trailers of 3.5 tonnes or more, will need to be fitted with retro-reflective vehicle safety markings.

At, we are now supplying fully compliant materials and markings that satisfy the rules governing both rigid and curtain sided vehicles.

What’s needed

ECE104 vehicle safety markings require 50mm to 60mm wide strips of highly reflective material to be applied to the rear and sides of vehicles, so that trucks and trailers are more visible to other road users from a distance of up to 1000 metres at night. This ensures that commercial vehicles can be seen by motorway drivers up to 8-9 seconds earlier than would otherwise be the case and as such is a key development in reducing risk on busy roads.

Chevronshop Guide to Markings

Vehicle Rears
For vehicles wider that 2100mm, ECE104 requires a complete contour line marking to the rear, using either red (preferred by the Department for Transport) or yellow marking tape. The markings should extend to at least 80% of the width of the vehicle and be placed as close as possible to the vehicle edge.
Vehicle Sides
For vehicle sides, operators must comply with one of two options – a complete contour line marking or a partial contour marking (the minimum requirement), using yellow (the preferred option) or white.

There are also rules covering upper and lower contour markings – call chevronshop on 0870 2208341 for further information and help on all the requirements linked to ECE104 compliance.

CODE OF PRACTICE – Self-Escorting of Abnormal Loads and Abnormal Vehicles
Vehicle requirements
The primary role of any escort vehicle is to alert other road users and pedestrians of the presence of an abnormal load or abnormal vehicle. The escort person in the vehicle shall also act as the contact point with others while escorting the load or vehicle.

The escort vehicle and its occupants shall assist the abnormal load or abnormal vehicle in safely negotiating the transport route.

Size and Type
An escort motor vehicle shall have a minimum of four wheels.

The escort vehicle must afford the driver good visibility. To facilitate good visibility to the rear and side, the vehicle shall be fitted with exterior mirrors on both sides. In addition, it is preferable to have rear windows to the side and rear windows at the back of the vehicle to aid driver visibility. Vehicles with open cargo space are not permitted.

The escort vehicle shall not form any part of the units carrying or hauling the abnormal load or the abnormal vehicle.

To be conspicuous to other road users and pedestrians the escort vehicle shall be of a uniform colour, being either white, yellow, orange or silver.

Markings and Identification – see Figures 1 & 2


The front of the vehicle shall be marked clearly to identify that it is an escort vehicle. This shall be done by marking “Escort Vehicle” or “Escort” in solid black first letter upper case, remaining lower case lettering, or lower case in forward script on the front of the vehicle. The marking shall be in plain sans serif font (e.g. Helvetica or Arial), and the lettering a minimum of 150 mm high and a width to height ratio approaching one. Shadowing, italics and other lettering effects are not permitted. No other text or logos shall be located near to this lettering.


There shall be a roof sign displaying “Abnormal Load” in first letter upper case, remaining lower case lettering or lower case lettering using a sans serif font (e.g. Helvetica or Arial) and with a width to height ratio approaching one, which should be clearly visible from both the front and rear. This sign shall be lit when escorting and not be illuminated at any other time. Lighting regulations only permit red lighting to face the rear of the vehicle and any colour other than red to face forward. This should be taken into consideration in the design of any sign (suggested red internal lighting to rear and white to front). This sign may be demountable.


To help alert other road users approaching the escort vehicle from the front, during the day the vehicle shall use dipped beam headlamps when escorting the abnormal load or abnormal vehicle.


To help alert other road users approaching the escort vehicle from the rear, high visibility markings shall be applied to the rear of the vehicle. These will be chevron markings of alternate red retroreflective material and yellow vinyl non-retroreflective material (or equivalent), each with a strip width of 250mm on vans and larger vehicles, and 150mm for cars and car-derived vans.


The chevron markings shall be at 60o to the horizontal plane, with the chevrons pointing upwards and matching colours meeting at the vertical centre line of the vehicle. As much of the rear of the vehicle as possible should be marked in this way and any vehicle fittings should be cut around, e.g. light assemblies, number plates etc.


In addition to the chevron markings on the rear of the vehicle, outline markings consisting of 25mm – 50mm wide red microprismatic retroreflective material shall be fitted along the roof edge and to the outside door pillars in the case of the van and outside edge of the rear window in the case of a car.


When the rear doors of a self-escort van are opened a 25mm – 50mm wide red microprismatic retroreflective strip of material shall be fitted along the rear facing edge of the doors, along the open roof edge and along the floor sill. In the case of a self-escort car the 25mm – 50mm wide red retroreflective prismatic grade strip of material shall be fitted to the rear facing edge of the boot lid or tailgate


If a piece of equipment is fitted or attached to the rear of the escort vehicle and obscures the chevron markings (e.g. a crash cushion in the upright position), the chevron markings shall be replicated on the equipment, so that the pattern continues to be visible.


To maintain high vehicle visibility from different angles, the red and yellow chevron markings shall be continued in an unbroken pattern onto the side of the vehicle body for a distance of 300mm measured from the rear most corner of the vehicle body. The markings shall be over the full height of the vehicle body.


To alert other road users approaching the vehicle from the side, a single continuous strip 200mm wide of yellow retroreflective tape shall be fitted at or below the horizontal centerline of the vehicle from the extended chevron marking to at least the front wheel arch.


The name of the vehicle operator and/or owner may be displayed upon the side of the vehicle forward of the extended chevron markings, not too close to the side chevron markings or the single retroreflective strip. No company livery shall be displayed on the front or rear of the vehicle.

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