There have recently been some updates released for Chapter 8, Part 3, which are the set of Traffic Signs Manuals publications that underpin traffic signs law. This blog post aims to inform and simplify those changes that have been made to the manuals, which may have slipped under the radar or not be easily understood.
What does Chapter 8 Part 3 cover?
Chapter 8, Part 3 focuses on Traffic Safety Measures and Signs for Road Works and Temporary Situations. for temporary road works. Traffic Signs Regulations and General directions. There was an amendment made in March 2020, which provided an update to the industry.
Regulations - legal requirements, described in a Statutory instrument (e.g. TSRGD)
Standards - the physical attributes of a product
Codes of practice - using guidance and knowledge in the absence of specific regulations
Guidance - describes how to implement regulations
Vehicle incursions at roadworks
Chapter 8 is of particular importance when looking at vehicle incursion at roadworks data. Over 2,055 incursions occurred at roadworks in 2019 (AIRSWEB 2019). Often vehicle incursions occur because roadworks or signage can prove confusing to drivers, over 450 incursions were recorded due to confusion, rather than a deliberate act.
But, there are also a surprising number of intentional incursions - drivers who have not considered or do not care that they may put the life of a roadworker, another motorist, a pedestrian or even themselves in danger by ignoring a diversion for their own benefit. Data from AIRSWEB 2019, recorded over 500 incursions due to seeking information or benefit, such as incorrectly thinking they may speed their journey up.
What can we do about vehicle incursions, both deliberate and accidental?
There is definitely a role education can play, where deliberate incursions are concerned. This is a whole other blog post but it should start at the point of learning to drive and being made aware of the dangers that road workers face each day. This could be through watching video interviews of those injured while working at road works and even more devastatingly, videos talking to families of road workers killed while doing their job.
The responsibility with accidental incursions can easily be rectified. It falls with highway contractors, highway safety solutions providers and those carrying out the roadworks, all that is needed are visible and clear road signs in the lead up to the road works, at the road works and where any diversions are necessary.
Highway Care offers a host of vehicle incursion solutions including gates, lorry mounted crash cushions and Impact Protection Vehicles, depending on your requirement.
What makes an effective sign?
Signs should inform, delineate, warn and instruct.
Conspicuity and legibility: should be reflective and of standard colour, be correctly lit, using formalised design and placement.
Comprehensibility and credibility: should not be ironic, unnecessary, hidden, funny or distracting.
Vehicle conspicuity markings – specification of retro reflectivity.
Update to the new national annexe 2018, retroreflective class R3C-UK. The new class is intended to differentiate high performance reflective materials.
Specific changes to Chapter 8, Part 3 made in 2020
Signage work must be validated by an individual with an appropriate qualification – traffic signs design
Delineation (lane markings) – 1. unlit, partly lit or dimmed should be no less than Class R3. 2. Class of R4 need to be used where a temporary mandatory speed limit above 50mph is applied
Vehicle conspicuity markings U4.3 - retro reflectivity. Class RA1 = low performance not recommended for works vehicles, stopping on any speed road. Class RA2 = medium performance, is now minimum recommendation for works vehicles. Class R3B = higher performance, now recommended for vehicles stopping on high speed roads, 40 mph and above.
Mounting and lighting of signs U2.8 - Class R3B - can and should be used, so can be seen from a distance in the dark (UK sheeting can also be applied)
Daytime and night time visibility - not just be compliable, follow best practice and use the highest performing safety device. Always warn oncoming drivers of a hazard to keep road workers and other motorists safe.
U2.8.6 - Yellow background can be fluorescent, which helps with day time visibility. Attracts attention - particularly dusk and dawn, but shouldn't be overused as should be for critical signs only.
U2.8 - where sign lighting is not required, consider R2B or R3C
U2.8.3 - microprismatic retroreflective sheeting can be used if appropriate
A1.7 - approach 'wicket' signing for relation schemes
U2.9.6 - repeater signs - one size smaller for vertically mounted signs with class R3 (B and C). Can be 17% and 33% cheaper. But repeater signs not generally used on roadworks, possibly for longer term roadworks.
U2.8 mounting and lighting of signs - now, alternative microprismatic materials can be used where adequate performance can be demonstrated. This is a change in guidance to consider alternative materials
For more information on Highway Care's Chapter 8, Part 3, vehicle incursion and road worker safety solutions contact:
Adam Liston, Mobile Traffic Product Specialist
+44 (0)7703 735861.
N.B: this post is derived from webinar material from 3M, delivered by Andy Fish