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How conspicuity tape is used on vehicles

Reflective or reflector tape, also referred to as conspicuity tape, is required for certain vehicles. The tape, which is made from prismatic sheeting and pressure-sensitive adhesive, enables heavy trailers to be more conspicuous to other drivers. It is used to clearly mark the sides and the backs of vehicles and trailers to enable them to be seen from a distance of up to 1,000 metres at night.

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Conspicuity tape means that many accidents can be avoided; what’s more, the increase in safety measures will enable savings to be made. The mandatory legislation means that goods vehicles with a weight of more than 7,500kg and first used on or following 10 July 2011 must comply. It also covers trailers with a weight in excess of 3,500kg manufactured on or after the same date.

Full contour marking is required by legislation

A full contour marking is required on the vehicle’s rear, with the horizontal and vertical markings indicating its shape. Partial contour markings should be used on the side and should consist of a horizontal line illustrating the vehicle length, while ‘tick’ marks should indicate the upper corners. A line marking can also be acceptable in certain circumstances.

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On the rear, only red and amber can be used. The marking should be near the rim and the cumulative length should equate to 80 per cent of the overall width of the vehicle, including the marker boards.

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The markings should be within 400mm of the upper part of the vehicle. If implementing partial contours, each corner should consist of two lines at 90 degrees to each other, spanning a minimum of 250mm. The contours should be placed as low as possible, ensuring they are at least 250mm above the ground and no more than 1,500mm in height.

Line markings are permitted when the shape or design of the vehicle means it is impossible to comply with regulations; however, it is important to note that white reflective markings must not be applied to the rear of the fleet.

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