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Fleet managers throughout Europe are getting ready for the ECE 104 and Regulation 48 July deadline

Reflexite, leading manufacturer of retroreflective materials, are seeing a surge in demand for reflective tape compliant with ECE 48-03 legislation from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. The legislation relates to the application of safety tape onto the sides and rear of the vehicles.

It is widely recognised throughout Europe and the world that marking contours of vehicles with retroreflective materials can dramatically reduce the number of road accidents by keeping vehicles safe and seen. This is particularly important for heavy and long vehicles.

It is widely recognised throughout Europe and the world that marking contours of vehicles with retroreflective materials can dramatically reduce the number of road accidents by keeping vehicles safe and seen. This is particularly important for heavy and long vehicles. The reflective markings have already been made mandatory in Italy, Romania, Poland and Slovakia.

So what has the experience of the countries that have already mandated the legislation been? In the majority, those who have implemented the legislation, safety seems to have been the deciding factor. In Ireland the UN ECE-104 legislation was mainly driven by safety with their Road Safety Association (RSA) stating: ‘Large vehicles that are either stationary or moving relatively slowly compared with the speed of following traffic, represent a traffic hazard. Similarly, large vehicles crossing a stream of traffic (slowly) also present a hazard for drivers who do not accurately perceive their size or speed.

The objective of this measure is to reduce death and serious injury resulting from collisions involving large vehicles. This will be achieved by making these vehicles more conspicuous to other road users, especially at night.
Reflexite, who has been manufacturing retro-reflective materials for over 30 years, is well placed to help organisations and countries faced with the new legislation process for many reasons. Firstly, strategically they have operations throughout Europe and have been through the process so many times now, with countries like Italy for example, that they have really become the experts. As manufacturers and suppliers they offer guidance and advice about compliance, free of charge to end users, converters and builders alike. Further the Reflexite® VC104+ reflective tape is fully compliant, signified by an E-mark built in the construction, and the tape comes with a 10 year warranty for rigid grade, and a 3 year warranty for curtain grade when applied to new curtains.

As well as complying with the mandate, Reflexite’s reflective tape is great from an operations perspective. Thousands of business users around the world in countries that have already mandated the use of such reflective marking tape having recognised that Reflexite is the perfect choice. This is because of the ease of application, the thin yet robust flexible construction, the ‘easy to cut’ feature and the no need for edge sealing, as well as the reassuring warranty. The general feeling from fleet managers, workshops and end users throughout Europe is "Why wait for a law?" The safety of the drivers and other vehicles on the roads can be dramatically improved as well as reducing the potential expense of vehicle down time.

Indeed why wait for an incident or the regulation to be implemented when research by the US Department of Transport has found that vehicles featuring retro-reflective tape experience a staggering 41% fewer night-time accidents. Therefore not only can the use of such tape improve driver safety and potentially save lives, but it can also reduce the risk of damage to valuable vehicle cargo.

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