Release Date:
Release ID: 5154

FTA guide to rules on goods vehicle conspicuity markings

The Freight Transport Association has published a guide to new legislation on the fitment of conspicuity markings to large goods vehicles. Initially published for FTA’s members last November, the guide has now been endorsed by the Department for Transport and will be issued to the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) for their own guidance and procedures, and is being made available to the industry in general.

New heavy goods vehicles and their trailers will need to be fitted with conspicuity marking material from 10 July 2011. Conspicuity markings illuminate the outline of a vehicle at night by reflection from the headlights of vehicles following behind, and have the potential to prevent many fatal and serious injury accidents per year.

The regulations require a full contour marking on the vehicle’s rear, ie horizontal and vertical markings to outline the shape of the vehicle, and partial contour markings on the side. Partial contour markings consist of a horizontal line showing the length of the vehicle and ‘tick’ marks showing the upper corners of the vehicle. Tractor units are exempt from the requirements.

The FTA guide covers such areas as:

* Optionally-fitted conspicuity markings
* Who the rules apply to
* Marking requirements
* Derogations
* Conspicuity marking material requirements
* Type approval
* Guidance on applying conspicuity markings to various vehicle and body types
* Enforcement by VOSA

Andy Mair, FTA’s Head of Engineering Policy, said:

“With so many different vehicle body types in use, we thought it was necessary to publish a standard, easy-to-follow set of guidelines which can be used by FTA members, the Department for Transport and their agencies and the industry in general to make the implementation of the new guidelines more straightforward for everybody.”

The FTA compliance guide ‘Conspicuity marking requirements on goods vehicles’ is available to download from the FTA website at Also available from Shopfta is conspicuity tape (product code 4310 for rigid vehicles, 4311 for curtainsiders) and a poster (product code 5401), visit Shopfta at or call 08717 11 11 11.
59 Piccadilly Manchester M1 2AQ
Telephone: +44 (0)161 408 0542
Fax: +44 (0)870 432 1732

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