ECE104 Guidelines

What is regulation ECE104?

The ECE104 set of regulations became Law in July 2011. ECE104 is a regulation that establishes guidelines for the use of retroreflective safety markings on heavy goods vehicles operating on our roads. The reflective markings clearly outline the rear and sides of the vehicle, making the vehicle highly visible at up to 1000 metres at in low light conditions. 

The markings need to be between 50mm to 60mm. Research has demonstrated that outlining the contours of vehicles with high visibility safety marking tape significantly reduces the number of accidents involving long and heavy vehicles. The visibility of a vehicle is increased leading to a better safety record for vehicle operators and other road users.

A reduced accident rate means a reduced repair bill, which equally saves costs. It also improves corporate image by having a better safety reputation and safety record.

When was it introduced?

From July 2011 all newly registered vehicles which fall under certain vehicle categories operating in the UK will need to be equipped with side and rear reflective markings which meet the requirements of ECE104.

Other European countries will also be introducing the regulation.

Markings are encouraged to be applied as soon as possible to help reduce accidents safe lives and show commitment to best practice.

Which Vehicles are affected?

Vehicle categories that will be affected are:

N2 - Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of goods and having a maximum weight exceeding 7.5 tonnes but not exceeding 12 tonnes.

N3 - Vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of goods and having a maximum weight exceeding 12 tonnes.

O3 - Trailers with a maximum mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 10 tonnes.

O4 - Trailers with a maximum mass exceeding 10 tonnes.

Where to apply the marking tape.

Rear of the vehicle.

• A complete contour line marking (box) needs to be applied.
• The conspicuity marking should be as close as practicable to the edge of the vehicle and should equate to at least 80% of the overall width of the vehicle.
• Red and yellow marking tape only - red is the UK preference.

Side of the vehicle.

• There are two options: a complete contour line marking (box) or a partial contour line marking (corner ticks)
• Partial contour markings are the minimum requirement
• The marking tape shall equate to at least 80%* of:
• for motor vehicles, the length of the vehicle (excluding the cab)
• for trailers, the length of the vehicle. (excluding the drawbar)
• The length of the upper corner marking tape must be a minimum of 25cm in each direction.
• Yellow and white marking tape only - yellow is the UK preference.

* down to 60% or 40% for difficult or especially difficult applications.

Front of the vehicle.

• It is optional but advisable to use white marking tape on the front of the vehicle.