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  • The RAC Vehicle Graphics, are they legal?

    Posted by Robert Lambie on April 14, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    I am sure the answer to this will be yes, they are legal. Well, surely they must be!?

    RAC often update their vehicles on a three-year cycle I think!
    They appear to keep things current and up to date looking. Unlike the AA. 🤔

    Anyway, it was interesting to see that they have taken a different route to the normal 50mm reflective band running from the front straight along the side to the back of the vehicle, keeping with Chapter 8 regulations. To do this, you will see they run the band up the rear side, along the roof-line, down the pillars of the windscreen and down the bonnet. They have also run it around the bonnet front and other areas. Everything done in white reflective.

    However, when it comes to the back where it should be fluorescent yellow and red reflective. they have used “white”. Now unless legality has been changed for this type of service vehicle, then this is not allowed. by that I mean you can’t have white “reflective” on the rear or “red” on the front, for obvious reasons. A bit like number plates!
    I am thinking, maybe they have not used white “Relective” and only the red is Chapter 8 grade, but where does the fluorescent regulation come into play for daytime visibility?

    anyway, I had a look online and count see any updates on regulations so wondered why these marking legalities appear to have changed?
    Anyone know or know of similar companies doing the same thing?

    Robert Lambie replied 1 year, 1 month ago 6 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • Graham Scanlan

    April 15, 2021 at 5:40 am

    Another school day Rob. For me anyhow

    Chapter 8 is best practice and not a legal requirement, so no laws have been broken. They have chosen not to adhere to best practice. As far as white reflective on the rear I would agree with you,

    Whilst Chapter 8 is not legislation, by not complying with these guidelines you are leaving yourself open to potential legal action should an accident happen involving your fleet.

    Avery manufacture a reflective that is already red and white chevrons which must be acceptable on the other side of the pond

  • Kevin Mahoney

    April 15, 2021 at 6:18 am

    Morning all. Never really understood this logic about ‘no red reflective on the front & no white at the back’

    Bought a 10metre roll of the 3M printable material to do our own vehicles (never got round to it) & was given a stark warning by the rep about not using any white at the back. Yeah thanks mate, gonna do it anyway as my branding doesn’t contain any red.

    Is anybody really that dumb that they’d possibly hit the back of the vehicle because it’s white reflective? I’d have thought any colour reflective would be enough to alert drivers of a potential hazard. Anybody else more clued up on the thinking?

    • Gordon Smithard

      April 15, 2021 at 7:00 pm

      I may be wrong about this but I believe that reflective vinyl/ stickers etc fall under vehicle lighting regs…ie red at the back and white at the front.

  • David Hammond

    April 15, 2021 at 7:41 am

    As @graham-scanlan says Chapter 8 is best practice and not law.

    The legislation you’d probably want to look at is the The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 from memory I think reflective material is covered by the same, at the same time I think if it’s part of a ‘design’ it’s acceptable.

    Suppose it depends on the copper on the day, and bit of common sense (if that still exists)

    The advantage of the chevrons, outweighs the ‘law’ and it would be hard to misinterpret the chevrons for a reversing light, or brake light.

    Are we sure the white is reflective on the rear?

    • Martyn Heath

      April 15, 2021 at 11:57 am

      Im with david. I think the rear doors are just white, not reflective

  • Robert Lambie

    April 15, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    I do fully understand that the legislation currently in place is based on best practice.
    However, “best practice” is more a stepping stone term of the long process of making it standardised and law, that all commercial vehicles will eventually have to conform to whatever class it falls into. Ultimately making the roads safer within the UK.

    Yes, the rear doesn’t look reflective white because when compared to the rear quarter chevrons which are off-white, indicates it is just plain white. The reason I questioned if it may be white was because Traffic Police in other countries such as Germany, do use white reflective on the rear, as you can see in the attached picture.

    My point is, if it’s not white reflective, then leaving it white serves zero purposes in safety and is purely for brand appearance.
    The thing is, RAC, The Royal Automobile Association, (name changed I know) has one of the largest vehicle presences on the UK roads today. They should be “leading by example”, and if they are not they deserve to be fined heavily or at least have a public slap on the wrist. At the end of the day, why should hard-working tradesmen be turned away and put off-site and do not return until their vehicle complies when the RAC is not? I have had at least a dozen customers come to me for this very reason.

    The RAC is working full-time on the UK roads, and like the Emergency Services and others do, they must comply fully and not treat this term “best practice” as a loophole for them to get around the use of a fluorescent yellow within their distinctive new brand.

    Yes, white to the front and red to the back. I watched a documentary years ago regarding this and my understanding “from memory” is, let’s take a dark country road and your driving along doing 30. You come round a blind spot and you are faced with a bright white light/graphic, and in the split second, thinking it’s a car coming at you, you swerve into the lane of oncoming traffic. Hence the use of the yellow number plate on the rear of vehicles rather than white.
    There were various other examples but from their argument stand-point. I did understand and agreed in most cases it is possible.

    However, Fluorescent… otherwise known as “Day-Glow” is used for that reason. During the day it stands out bright and is very distinctive. If the RAC is in fact removing this safety feature for cosmetic purposes, then they should be penalised hard. At the end of the day, the colours and markings have had a lot of time and taxpayers money enforcing with the prospect of saving lives. Why should they be let off?

  • Robert Lambie

    April 16, 2021 at 9:56 am

    Looking for something connected to chapter 8 and RAC van and this pops up!

    How does that song go… “Now isn’t it ironic, don’t yah think?” 🤨

    • Kevin Mahoney

      April 16, 2021 at 10:06 am

      Would never happen with red & yellow

      • Robert Lambie

        April 16, 2021 at 10:11 am


        ….definitely, so true mate.