Chapter 8 vehicle signage: what you need to know

Chapter 8 of the Department for Transport’s Traffic Signs Manual sets out the guidelines for vehicle livery during roadworks and highways operations, which have also been adopted by many local authorities, construction and maintenance companies.

By complying with the specifications of Chapter 8 Part 2: Operations, Section O5.2 (Vehicle Conspicuity), you can reduce the risk of disruption, delays and outright refusal of admittance to working sites during deliveries and other operations.

Section O5.2.3 specifically addresses vehicles working on high-speed roads (e.g. motorways) and provides four options for conspicuous markings:

  1. ‘Diagram 7403’ (a downward left- or right-facing white arrow in a blue circle, with a yellow background and signal lights)
  2. An equivalent matrix light sign displaying a downward left- or right-facing arrow in amber lights
  3. Chevrons of alternating orange-red and yellow, not less than 150mm wide, angled upwards at 45-60 degrees
  4. A solid block of retroreflective orange-red material

In most cases, option c is chosen for vehicle signs to ensure conspicuity while on the roads, parked on public highways of all speed limits, and when accessing any kind of active job site.

What are Chapter 8 vehicle signs?

To go into more detail about option c for Chapter 8 vehicle signs, the specifications call for:

  • Chevron markings of alternating strips of different colours:
    • Fluorescent orange-red retroreflective material
    • Fluorescent yellow non-retroreflective material
  • Not less than 150mm width each
  • Pointing upwards at an angle of 45-60 degrees from the horizontal

Chapter 8 also calls for red retroreflective tape to be installed along the rear-facing edges of guardrails, open doors and equipment lockers, to ensure visibility for passing vehicles.

It’s easy to make a mistake, for example by using retroreflective material for the yellow stripes, using an angle of less than 45 degrees, or making the chevrons too narrow.

There are also additional guidelines for vehicles engaged in maintenance work, which should display the text HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE or MOTORWAY MAINTENANCE in addition to the above conspicuity requirements.

How Signs Northwest can help

Signs Northwest Chapter 8 vehicle signage is suitable for all vehicle types on a supply-only or supply-and-fit basis, including bespoke vehicle signage for Chapter 8 vehicles.

We supply full and partial kits, ideal if you have replaced part of your vehicle’s bodywork or need to refresh the visibility in just one area following damage or discolouration.

Our bespoke Chapter 8 vehicle signage can incorporate your logo and branding, contact details and other information in a way that does not affect your compliance with Section O5.2, made to measure for your vehicle’s bodywork.

Need some help?

We welcome enquiries and are always happy to help design Chapter 8 vehicle livery that complies with all of the current guidelines, which we appreciate can be quite complex for some customers – please don’t hesitate to ask for our recommendations.

Chapter 8 vehicle signage plays an important role in ensuring health and safety during highways maintenance and other work around the UK. With our help, you can make sure your vehicles comply with the guidelines, so you can continue to access job sites of all kinds.