New regulations affecting commercial vehicle visibility come into force in July 2011. This is a summary of those regulations.
These regulations are available on the Office of Public Sector Information website: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/
Amendments to the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations:
Conspicuity Marking (New paragraph 20A):
Conspicuity markings are reflective markings intended to show the outline of large vehicles making them more visible to other traffic at night. They must be fitted to goods vehicles with a gross vehicle weight exceeding 7,500 kg first used on or after 10 July 2011 and trailers with a gross vehicle weight exceeding 3,500 kg manufactured on or after 10 July 2011.
The technical requirements are contained in European regulations on vehicle lighting, paragraph 6.21 of UNECE Regulation 48.03 amended to Supplement 31. This sets out the layout that must be used, any exemptions or derogations that may apply and the colours that should be used. An example of the basic layout is shown below. However the exact layout will depend on the design and intended use of the vehicle.
Conspicuity markings placed on the side of a vehicle must be either yellow or white and on the rear either red or yellow. They must also be marked to show that they have been approved to UNECE Regulation 104.
Manufacturers and operators who wish to take advantage of the safety benefits of conspicuity markings before July 2011 may do so provided the markings are fitted in compliance with Regulation 48.03. Conspicuity markings may also be fitted to other vehicles but not passenger cars, goods vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 3,500 kg or less or trailers with a gross vehicle weight of 3,500 kg or less.
UNECE Regulation 48 and its amendments are available at: http://www.unece.org/trans/main/wp29/wp29regs41-60.html
There are different types of reflective tape that comply with the regulation. The tape should be 50mm wide and comply with the necessary regulation. All compliant tape carries the manufacturers EC homologation on the tape
ECE104+ is the latest reflective tape from manufacturer Reflexite. This is an alternative to the 3M Diamond Grade , Avery and other similar tapes. The Reflexite conspicuity tape is single layer and so will not delaminate and is becoming very popular with truck and trailer manufacturers because of its durability and easy fitting.
Rear Marker Plates (Schedule 1 tables I & VI and Schedule 15)
Rear Marker plates are now optional on vehicles fitted with conspicuity markings. However, if fitted to a vehicle first used on or after 10 July 2011 or a trailer manufactured on or after 10 July 2011 rear marker plates must be approved to UNECE Regulation 70.01.
Currently rear marker plates are approved to UNECE Regulations 70.00.
Rear marker plates approved to 70.01 may be used to form part of the rear conspicuity marking, details are given in UNECE Regulation 48.03.
Most truck and trailer manufacturers currently fit ECE70 marker boards. From 10 July 2011 they must fit either ECE70.01 Marker Boards or the reflective tapes as shown below.
Marker boards are manufactured by various companies but in order to comply they must display the EC homologation number on them. This ensures they have been tested to the standard required.
All Truckware vehicle visibility products carry the homologations and comply with EC regulations
If you have any doubts as to what to fit and where, please contact one of our sales staff.