It is necessary for all vehicles to be visible both day and night, but it is particularly important that vehicles travelling at high speeds, carrying heavy loads or stopping regularly on motorways or fast roads can be seen by other road users.
Chapter 8 chevrons are highly visible markings for road vehicles that are specifically designed to ensure the safety of road users. In 2011, regulation ECE104 became mandatory. This safety regulation deals with newly registered HGVs of more than 7.5 tonnes and trailers of over 3.5 tonnes and specifies standards for the reflective materials used and where on the vehicle the signs should be placed. The complete regulations can be found at https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/6959566a-ab51-11e3-86f9-01aa75ed71a1 giving information on Regulation No 104 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations (UN/ECE), including the dimensions of signs and other technical details.
Chapter 8 of the Traffic Signs Manual also gives advice regarding safety markings for vehicles that stop regularly on the highway. This applies to vehicles used for road works and other duties such as highway inspection, where high visibility is necessary to protect both workers and the public.
The importance of vehicle safety markings
Reflective safety markings on vehicles that stop on the highway, heavy goods vehicles and high speed vehicles have been shown to save lives. Safety markings that comply with Chapter 8 are available online from companies such as https://www.vehiclechevrons.com/. They are tailored to the specific make and model of vehicle, and other optional features such as highway maintenance text can be specified.
Because these safety signs are manufactured from highly reflective material that resists water and dirt ingress, they ensure that the vehicle is visible from long distances and from various different angles. This affords protection not only to emergency workers who may have to carry out their duties in very challenging conditions, but also other drivers to whom the vehicle may present a hazard.
The first country in Europe to adopt regulation ECE104 was Italy, which adopted it in 2006. Following this, research into night time accidents has shown that fatalities in Italy were reduced by 36%, twice as much as the reduction of fatalities in other countries in Western Europe, where an 18% reduction was reported. This demonstrates why vehicle safety markings are so important.