What is Chapter 8 and why is it important?

You might have heard Chapter 8 being mentioned in terms of vehicle safety, but what exactly does it refer to?

Chapter 8 refers to vehicle livery for vehicles that might have to stop on any UK road for inspection or work purposes. Livery that is Chapter 8 compliant is regarded as best practice by the Department for Transport and a minimum level for safety warning that is required.

The details of Chapter 8 are not legally binding, however, taking the recommendations seriously is highly recommended and could save you a nightmare in potential legal action should one of your fleet experience an accident.

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In terms of business fleets, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Health and Safety at Work (NI) Order 1978 states that all clients, employers and employees hold the responsibility for establishing and maintaining safe systems of working.

The guidelines of Chapter 8 could well be considered as demonstrating what is reasonably expected in order to meet the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and all associated regulations. For your vehicle Chapter 8 Chevrons, visit https://www.vehiclechevrons.com

Chapter 8 defines a helpful code of practice that allows businesses to meet legal requirements in a range of different circumstances. It has no statutory enforcement but what is crucial to note is that many of the principles of the document are also covered in legal statute in the Safety at Street Works and Road Works – A Code of Practice, which falls under the Sections 65 and 124 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991.

So, what is compliant livery?

Having compliant livery is recommended for any roads but especially a high-speed highway. All vehicles that might stop for inspection or to carry out works should:

be fitted with rear markings which are highly visible

be of a bright and eye-catching colour, namely yellow or white. A recommended colour is a non-reflective lemon known as no. 355.

The markings should consist of:

Either – Chevrons of alternate strips of retro-reflective orange/red and fluorescent yellow of no less than 150mm in width and positioned at an angle of between 45 and 60 degrees horizontally or pointing upwards.

Or – A solid fluorescent block of orange/red reflective material covering as much of the rear of the vehicle as is practical whilst not obscuring the lights, registration plates or windows.

As well as the above, there should be text that reads ‘Highway Maintenance’ or ‘Motorway Maintenance’ for vehicles working on motorways only.

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On both sides of the vehicle there should also be a strip micro-prismatic material at a minimum of 50mm in width and retro-reflective tape placed on all rear door edges when opened, equipment lockers and guardrails.

On occasions where any rear-facing high vis markings will be obscured by a mounted device such as a lorry-mounted crash cushion, extra markings should be applied to any rear surface of the mounted device that is on display to road users at the back of the vehicle.



Richard Anderson


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