Are you compliant with Chapter 8?

Chapter 8 refers to Chapter 8 of the Department for Transport’s Documentation Traffic Signs Manual. This guide covers the correct markings, signage and safety guidelines for temporary highways management situations.

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Chapter 8 livery guidelines are considered best practice; therefore, all vehicles stopping on UK roads for works or inspection purposes should follow the government recommendations. If you fail to follow the guidelines and an accident occurs, legal action may be taken against you.

Relevant legislation

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Health and Safety at Work (NI) Order 1978 require all employers, workers and clients to adhere to safe work procedures. Chapter 8 represents what is considered reasonable for enforcing both acts.

Chapter 8 presents a code of practice that enables the legal requirements to be met in a mix of circumstances. Although it has no statutory force, except in Northern Ireland, many governing principles are covered in the Safety at Street Works and Road Works – A Code of Practice.

The Traffic Signs Manual containing Chapter 8 is available to order online from the government website.

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Complying with Chapter 8

Organisations need to ensure that their fleet has the correct conspicuity markings. All vehicles that stop for works or inspection purposes must be a conspicuous colour, such as yellow or white, and have high-visibility markings on the rear.

Vehicles that are under 7.5 tonnes must have rear markings with upward-facing stripes in yellow and red (chevrons) measuring no less than 150mm. As much as possible of the vehicle’s rear must be covered. The materials need to be retro-reflective for maximum visibility at night and non-reflective for daytime visibility. Chapter 8 chevrons are available for your fleet from suppliers such as

Vehicles need to display ‘motorway maintenance’ or ‘highway maintenance’ signs in black; in addition, the leading edges should be highlighted with reflective strips. Strips of micro-prismatic-grade material should be applied to either side of the vehicle, while red retro-reflective tape must be applied to all rear-facing edges of open doors, equipment lockers and guardrails.

In addition to conforming to the above, vehicles heavier than 7.5 tonnes must include a directional arrow that incorporates flashing lights to supplement the message about staying left/right and must have chevron boards on the rear.

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