Chapter 8 & Traffic Management Vehicles

The regulations regarding traffic signs is contained in Chapter 8 of the traffic signs manual issued by the Department of Transport. It supports the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Health & Safety at Work (NI) requiring all clients, employers and employees to establish and maintain safe systems of work.  Chapter 8 is intended to provide a standard of good practice for the signing and marking of obstructions. The standard described in Chapter 8 is a minimum that should always be achieved.  Part 2 of Chapter 8 states that the traffic manual is applicable in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland & Wales.  The chapter sets out a code of practice to enable the legal requirements to be met in a wide variety of circumstances. Only in Northern Ireland has it a statutory force.

The sections that apply to vehicles are described in section 05 which covers conspicuity of vehicles and Chapter 8 Part 2 05 about protecting workers and vehicles that work on high flow roads.

The guidelines (section 05.1 & .2) says that production vehicles are rarely suited to site work in their standard form, so before purchasing a vehicle, consideration should be given to the model’s suitability for modifications and its ability to carry the necessary equipment. The choice of vehicle type, engine size and gearbox should reflect the acceleration and manoeuvrability required of that vehicle during normal working conditions

AKFS has over 20 years of designing premium quality vehicle conversion tailored made to this industry sector. The Drop & Go vehicle was designed with a major highways traffic management company to provide a safe and effective vehicle for use in the traffic management industry and to help traffic management operators comply with these guidelines. It can reach places that larger vehicles simply cannot.  This also results in a cost saving for the operator.

Section 05.1.2. covers the vehicle markings for a vehicle that is being used in the traffic management sector.  In addition, on high-speed roads, all vehicles stopping on the highway for works purposes or inspections shall be equipped with high visibility rear markings.

These are detailed as chevron markings comprising alternate strips of fluorescent orange-red retroreflective material and fluorescent yellow non-retroreflective material, of not less than 150 mm width each, inclined at 45-60° to the horizontal and pointing upwards, or a solid block of fluorescent orange-red retroreflective material.

The markings described above should cover as much of the rear-facing portion of the vehicle as possible without obscuring windows, vehicle lighting or registration plates.

Vehicles used for works purposes should also be identified by displaying to the rear the sign to “HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE” or “MOTORWAY MAINTENANCE”

Chapter 8 vehicle

Where the main body of the vehicle being used is not a recognised conspicuous colour (yellow or white) then the above markings should be supplemented by a high visibility fluorescent yellow retroreflective strip, of not less than 50 mm wide, along the side of vehicle as a minimum.

chapter 8 vehicle2

Amber Flashing lights

Vehicles used in the sector when stopping on the highway for inspection or work purposes should be equipped with either a roof-mounted flashing amber warning light or two independent roof mounted flashing amber beacons, which are visible through 360 degrees. These warning lights should be used when entering or moving within the site or when travelling in traffic at less than the general traffic speed or when stationary on the hard shoulder.


Vehicles used for the installation, maintenance and removal of static traffic management on high- speed roads shall comply with the following specifications in paragraphs O5.5.2 to O5.5.5.

Compliance with these specifications is also recommended for use on all types of highway irrespective of speed limit.

  1. O5.5.2  Inspection/supervisorvehicles
    • conspicuous colour (e.g. yellow or white – a non-reflective yellow colour
    • 70mm capital letter height “HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE”  (externally mounted on rear of vehicle)
    • roof-mounted amber light bar (visible 360°) with a minimum of two independent light sources;
    • “Class RA2” to BS EN 12899-1 or microprismatic reflective markings on the rear of the vehicle
    • company or client livery on side of vehicle.
  2. O5.5.3  Traffic management/maintenance vehicles (personnel/equipment carrier)
    • conspicuous colour (e.g. yellow or white – a non-reflective yellow is recommended;
    • 140 mm capital letter height “HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE”  (externally on rear of vehicle)
    • “Class RA2” to BS EN 12899-1 or microprismatic reflective markings on the rear of the vehicle in accordance with paragraph O5.2.3;

In addition to the signage of the vehicle the guidelines also cover general vehicle issues:

  • all seats shall be fitted with head restraints and 3 point inertia reel belts;
  • working lights;
  • reversing bleeper;
  • front roof-mounted amber light bar (visible 360°) with a minimum of two independent light sources, and rear-mounted flashing amber beacons (visible 360°);
  • company or client livery on side of vehicle;
  • high visibility fluorescent yellow retroreflective strip along side of vehicle; and
  • CCTV for rearward vision.

and for the Equipment installation/removal vehicles

    • special adaptation to provide a low-level working platform with a guard rail arrangement within the normal width of the vehicle (e.g. tail lift or well); The AKFS Drop & Go traffic management vehicle has a low floor height allowing an easy step on and off for the employee.


With over 20 years experience of designing vehicles for this sector, AKFS are well placed to give you assistance to ensure that your next vehicle meets these Chapter 8 guidelines.


Give us a call on 01246 250022 and ask for Stephen Phillips - our Product Specialist, Highway & Utilities.


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