Category Archives: Reflective Regulations

Mandated reflective tape applications.

NFPA 1901 Chevron Reflective Striping Requirements for Emergency Vehicles

The NFPA 1901 recommendation deals with the marking of fire apparatus and emergency vehicles.  The recommendation covers the application of reflective tape to the rear of the vehicle in the form of chevron striping, the side of the vehicle and the front.  Many insurance companies are requiring that stations comply with the NFPA 1901 and most departments are using this as a guideline and are retrofitting older rigs.  New trucks normally come standard with the reflective tape pre-installed.  For retro-fits Reflective Chevron Striping products can be purchased online.

A Type 1 (engineer grade) is the minimum acceptable type of reflective sheeting that can be used.  Other acceptable materials are a Type 3 High Intensity, a V92/V97 Prismatic Tape, a V82 Type 5 tape and a Crystal Grade Type 8 material.  The required colors are red and yellow for the back.  There is no color designation for the sides and front. The requirements for the different areas of the vehicle are as follows.

REFLECTIVE REQUIREMENTS FOR DOORS

14.1.6 Any door of the apparatus designed to allow persons to enter or exit the apparatus shall have at least 96 square inches (62,000 mm2) of retro-reflective material applied to the inside of the door. (this is too call attention to the door when it is opened)

REFLECTIVE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SIDE AND FRONT OF THE VEHICLE

15.9.3.1* Retro-reflective stripe or stripes shall be applied to at least 50%  of the cab and body length on each side of the vehicle, excluding the pump panel areas, and at least 25% of the width of the front of the fire apparatus.

15.9.3.1.1 The stripe or combination of stripes shall be a minimum of 4 inches (100 mm) in total width. (2 – two inch stripes, a 3″ and a 1″, etc.. would meet the criteria)

15.9.3.1.2 The 4 inch (100 mm) wide stripe or combination of stripes shall be allowed to be interrupted by objects (example- receptacles, cracks between slats in roll up doors) provided the full stripe is viewed as conspicuous when approaching the fire apparatus.

15.9.3.1.3 A Reflective graphic design shall be allowed to replace all or part of the required striping material if the design or combination thereof covers at least the same perimeter length(s) required by 15.9.3.1.

REFLECTIVE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE REAR OF THE VEHICLE

Click to see our Reflective Pre-Made Chevron Panels

15.9.3.2 At least 50% or half  of the rear-facing vertical surfaces, visible from the rear of the fire apparatus, “not including” any pump panel areas not covered by a door, shall be outfitted with retro-reflective striping in a chevron pattern sloping downward and away from the center-line of the vehicle at 45 degree angles. (see picture above)

15.9.3.2.1 Each stripe used in the chevron design shall be a single color alternating between yellow and red.

15.9.3.2.2 Each stripe shall be 6 inches (150 mm) wide.

15.9.3.3 All of the retro-reflective materials required by sections 15.9.3.1 and 15.9.3.2 shall conform to the requirements of ASTM D 4956, Standard Specification for Retro-reflective Sheeting for Traffic Control, Section 6.1.1 for Type I Sheeting. (engineer grade which is similar to what is on a car tag.  The sheeting can be brighter.  ie, Type 3,5,8,v92,v82)

15.9.3.3.1 All retro-reflective sheeting and materials used to satisfy the requirements of 15.9.3.1 that are colors not listed in ASTM D 4956, Section 6.1.1, shall have a minimum coefficient of retroreflection of 10 candelas with an observation angle of 0.2 degrees and entrance angle of −4 degrees.

15.9.3.3.3 Any printed or processed retroreflective film construction used to meet the requirements of 15.9.3.1 and 15.9.3.2 shall conform to the standards required of an integral colored film as specified in ASTM D 4956, Section 6.1.1.

Summary

Although the NFPA 1901 is not a federal law, most departments conform to it for legal and safety reasons.  In the event of an accident, most departments feel that it is best to have taken all precautions available. Our main safety products store can be found at www.colebrothers.com .


FRA 224 Railcar Reflective Marking Regulations Requirements

The FRA 224 regulations for rail car (freight car) markings was updated in 2005 and covers all rail cars and locomotives.  The requirements are fairly straight forward.   The purpose of the rule is to require the application and use of retro-reflective tape on the sides of freight rolling stock, (includes both freight cars and locomotives) to enhance the visibility of trains and freight cars during times of limited visibility. It is recommended that the tape bear the FRA 224 mark.  Also, yellow or white can be used.  Yellow seems to be the most common color used.

It is required that the tape be applied to all new freight cars.  For existing cars the tape must be applied after repainting or within 9 months of a single car airbrake test. On railroad freight cars (other than flat cars and tank cars), the reflective sheeting shall be applied in either a vertical or horizontal pattern along the length of the car sides, with the bottom edge of the sheeting as close as is practical to 42″ above the top of a rail. The reflective sheeting shall not be applied below the side sill.

The retro reflective material is to be installed as follows. At least one 4″ x 36″ strip or two 4″ x 18″ strips (one above the other) shall be applied as close to each end of the rail car as practical. In between these two vertical end strips, reflective tape shall be applied a minimum of one 4″ x 18″ strip every 12 feet.

NOTE – tape is required in the above configuration on BOTH sides of the rail cars.

To see pricing and more information on Rail Car tape CLICK HERE.

Federal DOT FMCSA NHTSA Reflective Tape Requirements – Trucks Tractor Trailers

Introduction – Trucks exceeding 10,000 pounds and over 80 inches wide must mark their trailers with 2″ wide DOT C2 reflective tape that alternates white and red. (white looks silvery in the daytime). A 6/6 (6″ red and 6″ white) or a 7/11 (7″ white and 11″ red) pattern can be used.  50% of each side must be covered. (even distribution) In the rear, two strips must be used in the lower rear and an inverted L using solid white must mark the top corners of the trailer.  Trucks must be marked in a similar fashion.  See pictures at the bottom of this page.

(This is a summary of the regulation. For an exact copy of the law you can refer to the actual FMCSA document)
The FMCSA has set up regulations requiring the use of conspicuity (reflective tape) materials on trailers and the rear of truck tractors. The rules are in place to help reduce the incidence of motorists crashing into the rear or sides of tractor trailers at nighttime and under other conditions of reduced visibility. Also to reduce the incidence of motorists rear ending truck tractors (under operation without trailers) under the same types of conditions.

On December 10, 1992, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA published a final rule requiring that trailers manufactured on or after December 1, 1993, which have an overall width of  80 inches or more and a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds, (with the exception of pole trailers and trailers designed exclusively for living or office use) be equipped on the sides and rear with a means for making them more visible on the road. The NHTSA ruling allows trailer manufacturers to install either red and white retro reflective tape or sheeting or reflex reflectors.  This tape is commonly referred to as DOT C2 reflective tape and is thus marked for easy identification

Locations for Conspicuity Treatment
The following is a description of where the conspicuity treatments need to be located on trailers. Images of conspicuity treatments on some common types of trailers are provided at the bottom of this page.

Sides of the Trailer
The 2″ DOT C2 retro reflective sheeting need to be applied to both sides of the trailer or semitrailer. Each strip of retro reflective sheeting must be positioned as horizontally as practicable, beginning and ending as close to the front and rear as practicable. The conspicuity treatment is not required to be continuous. However, the sum of the length of all of the segments must be at least half of the length of the trailer and the spaces between the segments of the strip must be distributed as evenly as practicable. The centerline for each strip of retroreflective sheeting (or reflex reflector) must be between 375 mm (15 inches) and 1,525 mm (60 inches) above the road surface when measured with the trailer empty or unladen, or as close as practicable to this area. If necessary to clear rivet heads or other similar obstructions, 50 mm (2 inches) wide retro reflective sheeting may be separated into two 25 mm (1 inch) wide strips of the same length and color, separated by a space of not more than 25 mm (1 inch).

Lower rear area of the Trailer
The rear of each trailer and semitrailer must be equipped with retro reflective sheeting (or reflex reflectors). Each strip of retro reflective sheeting (or reflex reflector) must be positioned as horizontally as practicable, extending across the full width of the trailer, beginning and ending as close to the extreme edges as practicable. The centerline for each of the strips of retro reflective sheeting (or each reflex reflector) must be between 375 mm (15 inches) and 1,525 mm (60 inches) above the road surface when measured with the trailer empty or unladen, or as close as practicable to this area.

Upper rear area of the Trailer
Two pairs of white strips of retro reflective sheeting (or reflex reflectors), each pair consisting of strips 300 mm (12 inches) long, must be positioned horizontally and vertically on the right and left upper corners of the rear of the body of each trailer and semitrailer, as close as practicable to the top of the trailer and as far apart as practicable. If the perimeter of the body, as viewed from the rear, is not square or rectangular, the conspicuity treatments may be applied along the perimeter, as close as practicable to the uppermost and outermost areas of the rear of the body on the left and right sides.

Rear of Truck
On August 8, 1996, the NHTSA published a final rule requiring that truck tractors manufactured on or after July 1, 1997, be equipped with red-and-white retroreflective material similar to that required on the rear of the trailers they tow to increase nighttime conspicuity. Manufacturers may choose either retroreflective sheeting or reflex reflectors. In the case of truck tractors delivered with a temporary mudflap arrangement rather than permanent equipment, the requirement for retroreflective material near the top of the mudflap may be satisfied with material carried by the temporary mudflap brackets that are transferable to the permanent mudflap system. Retroreflective material is also required near the top of the cab in a pattern similar to that used on trailers.


FHWA Regulations for Reflective Tape at Railroad Crossings (crossbucks)

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations require that all crossbucks at rail-highway crossings will need to be affixed with reflective strips by January 17, 2011.

By January 17, 2011 a two inch strip of white retro-reflective material must be placed on the back of each crossbuck blade for the full length of the blade at all grade crossings where crossbuck signs have been installed, except where crossbuck signs have been installed back to back.  In addition, a two inch strip of white retro-reflective material must be placed on both the front and the back of the crossbuck post at all passive grade crossings where crossbuck signs have been installed for the full length of the post from the crossbuck sign or number of tracks plaque to within two feet of the ground., except for the back side of the post on one way streets and the front side of the post where a Yield or STOP sign is placed on the same post as the crossbuck sign.

FMVSS 131 & FMVSS 217 School Bus Reflective Tape Marking Requirements Regulations

FMVSS 131 & FMVSS 217

School Bus Reflective Tape Regulations:

Virtually every state has regulations regarding the marking of school buses.  The main goal of these regulations is to clearly mark with reflective tape the emergency exits of the bus.  This way, if a bus is in an accident, emergency workers can easily identify the exits.

Although each state differs the general regulation is as follows.

Each opening for a required emergency exit shall be outlined around its outside perimeter with a retroreflective tape with a minimum width of 2.5 centimeters and either red, white, or yellow in color, that when tested under the conditions specified in S6.1 of Standard No. 131 (49 CFR 571.131), meets the criteria specified.

  • 1″ strip used to mark side emergency exit windows
  • 1″ strip used to mark back emergency exit windows

These are minimum tape width requirements.

Here is an excerpt from the Connecticut regulations.

Any school bus may have reflectorized tape, otherwise known as retroreflective
sheeting, applied to the sides and rear, if such tape complies with and is
installed in accordance with the following requirements:
1. Approved reflective tape or sheeting shall reflect a yellow color with a reflectivity
meeting the requirements of 49 CFR 571.131 Table 1 and shall have a daytime
color of National School Bus Yellow. Approved reflective tape shall be no less
than three quarters (3/4) inch nor more than two (2) inches in width.
2. The rear of the bus body may have the perimeter outlined with strips of approved
reflective tape. The perimeter shall be considered as strips applied horizontally above
the rear windows and above the rear bumper, extending from the rear emergency
exit perimeter marking (if present), outward to the left and right rear corners of the
bus; and vertical strips applied at the corners connecting the horizontal strips.
3. All emergency exits should be marked and outlined with reflective tape as
prescribed per FMVSS 217.
4. The sides of the bus body may be marked with approved reflective tape
extending horizontally the length of the bus body and located vertically between the floor-line and the belt-line.

(Adopted effective May 2, 2007)

More information as well as pricing can be found at www.colebrothers.com .

US Coast Guard Retro Reflective Regulations for SOLAS Tape USCG 46 CFR, section 164.018

Where to place Retro-Reflective Material on Life-Saving Appliances

USCG 46 CFR, section 164.018

The United States Coast Guard has established regulations for the placement of retro reflective tape on all lifesaving devices on commercial vessels. The approved tapes are generally referred to as SOLAS (safety of life at sea). The chart below shows the required placement.

From International Maritime Organization (IMO) Resolution A.658(16) – Annex 1

1. LIFEBOATS AND RESCUE BOATSRetro-reflective materials should be fitted on top of the gunwale as well as on the outside of the boat as near the gunwale as possible. The materials should be sufficiently wide and long to give a minimum area of 150 cm2 and should be spaced at suitable intervals (approximately 80 cm from centre to centre). If a canopy is fitted, it should not be allowed to obscure the materials fitted on the outside of the boat, and the top of the canopy should be fitted with retro-reflective materials similar to those mentioned above and spaced at suitable intervals (approximately 80 cm centre to centre). In the case of partially enclosed or totally enclosed lifeboats, such materials should be placed as follows:

.1 for detection by horizontal light beams – at suitable intervals at half the height between the gunwale and the top of the fixed cover; and.2 for detection by vertical light beams (e.g. from helicopters) – at suitable intervals around the outer portion of the horizontal (or comparable) part of the top of the fixed cover;

.3 retro-reflective materials should also be fitted on the bottom of lifeboats and rescue boats which are not self-righting.

retroreflective markings on lifeboats 1retroreflectove markings on lifeboats 2

retroreflectove markings on lifeboats 3

2. LIFERAFTSRetro-reflective materials should be fitted around the canopy of the liferaft. The material should be sufficiently wide and long to give a minimum area of 150 cm2 and should be spaced at suitable intervals (approximately 80 cm from centre to centre) at a suitable height above the waterline, doorways included, if suitable. On inflatable liferafts, retro-reflective materials should also be fitted to the underside of the floor, cross-shaped in the centre. The dimension of the cross should be half the diameter of the liferaft, and a similar cross should be applied to the top of the canopy.
On liferafts which are not equipped with canopies, materials which should be sufficiently wide and long (to give a minimum area of 150 cm2) should be attached to the buoyancy chamber at suitable intervals (approximately 80 cm from centre to centre) in such a manner that they are visible both from the air and from a ship.
retrorefelctive material on liferafts
3. LIFEBUOYSRetro-reflective materials of a sufficient width (approximately 5 cm) should be applied around or on both sides of the body of the lifebuoy at four evenly-spaced points. retroreflective material on life rings
4. BUOYANT APPARATUSBuoyant apparatus should be fitted with retro-reflective materials in the same manner as liferafts without canopies, always depending on the size and shape of the object. Such materials should be visible both from the air and from a ship. (No illustration in IMO Resolution A.658(16))Note that the arrangement described applies to inflatable buoyant apparatus. It is different than illustrated in 46 CFR 160.010 (Figure 160.010-3(p)) for rigid buoyant apparatus and life floats. It is not required to change the retroreflective material arrangement on rigid buoyant apparatus and life floats unless the vessel is certificated under SOLAS for international voyages.
5. LIFEJACKETSLifejackets should be fitted with patches of retro-reflective materials with a total area of at least 400 cm2 distributed so as to be useful for search from air and surface craft from all directions. In the case of a reversible lifejacket, the arrangement should be complied with no matter which way the lifejacket is put on. Such material should be placed as high up on the lifejacket as possible.
retrorefelective material on lifejackets

Retroreflective material arrangements applied by the manufacturer on approved lifejackets have been reviewed and approved and should not be changed, even if the arrangement does not appear to be exactly the same as this illustration.

6. IMMERSION SUITSImmersion suits should be fitted with patches of retro-reflective material with a total area of at least 400 cm2 distributed so as to be useful for search from air and surface craft from all directions.
For an immersion suit that does not automatically turn the wearer face up, the back of the suit should be fitted with retro-reflective material with a total area of at least 100 cm2.
Retroreflective material arrangements applied by the manufacturer on approved immersion suits have been reviewed and approved and should not be changed, even if the arrangement does not appear to be exactly the same as this illustration.
7. GENERAL REMARKS 1. Retro-reflective materials should be such as will meet the minimum technical specification given in Annex 2.2. The illustrations reproduced in this Annex are intended to provide examples from which guidance may be taken when fitting retro-reflective materials in accordance with these guidelines.

MUTCD Minimum Reflectivity Standards for Retro Reflective Sheeting / Signs

The chart below shows the minimum requirements for retro reflective sheeting and tape for signs and applications that are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The chart can also be used as a guideline for exempt applications. The deadlines for compliance are as follows:

  • Assess the signs on their roads and develop a replacement plan within four years of the final ruling. (January 22, 2012)
  • Replace non-compliant warning and regulatory signs within seven years of the final ruling. (January 22, 2015)
  • Replace guidance and street name signs within ten years of the final ruling. (January 22, 2018)

The summary after the chart will explain what the chart means for different types of signs.

CLICK TO ENLARGE

On the left hand side of the chart you will find the colors used for different signs.  At the top you find the type of reflective tape required and to the right are the overhead and ground mounted categories (additional criteria).   To use the chart first determine whether your sign is an overhead or a ground mounted sign.  Most are ground mounted.   Then determine the colors that will be used on the left.  Then go to the right until you find the sheeting that meets the minimum.  As you can see, for yellow and orange background signs a type 2 sheeting is required.  For red and white background signs a type 1 is all that is needed. Also, when the chart says black it means a “non reflective” black.  When there is an asterisk * after a color/type that means it cannot be used for that type of sign.

When a color/type has a > and then a number next to it that means that the sheeting must exceed the number in reflectivity measured in cd/lx/m2. (candelas)  Many people call this the candlepower of the sheeting or tape. To see charts on the reflectivity of the different types of reflective sheeting click here.

The minimum contrast ratio is also important.  This simply means that the candlepower or reflectivity of one color must exceed the other by a certain factor.  For example, the white stop on a stop sign must be 3 times brighter than the red.  If you used the same type of material for both color this contrast is usually achieved automatically.  If you used a prismatic red background and an engineer grade white then you may have some problems with this ratio.

Basically, for ground mounted signs (on a pole), you are always safe using a type 2 material or better. For black on white or white on red signs (speed limit or stop sign) a type 1 engineer grade film is acceptable.  (white engineer grade is about 75 candlepower) For overhead signs like what you would see over an interstate you are required to use a type 3 or better prismatic sheeting.

As you can see, since ground/pole mounted signs make up the bulk of all signs, type 1 and 2 sheeting are the most needed.  This is not expected to change for quite a while.  The type 1 and 2 films are very affordable.  The prismatic films are much more expensive.   Since prismatic films are only required on overhead signs the new regulations do not have to substantially increase your sign budget.  The main thrust of the new law is to require cities, counties and states to have a plan for maintaining signs to the minimum level of reflectivity.

The following is a quote from the MUTCD manual showing the options for managing sign reflectivity.

Section 2A.08 Maintaining Minimum Retroreflectivity
Support:
01 Retroreflectivity is one of several factors associated with maintaining nighttime sign visibility (see Section 2A.22).
Standard:
02 Public agencies or officials having jurisdiction shall use an assessment or management method that is designed to maintain sign retroreflectivity at or above the minimum levels in Table 2A-3.
Support:
03 Compliance with the Standard in Paragraph 2 is achieved by having a method in place and using the method to maintain the minimum levels established in Table 2A-3. Provided that an assessment or management method is being used, an agency or official having jurisdiction would be in compliance with the Standard in Paragraph 2 even if there are some individual signs that do not meet the minimum retroreflectivity levels at a particular point in time.
Guidance:
04 Except for those signs specifically identified in Paragraph 6, one or more of the following assessment or management methods should be used to maintain sign retroreflectivity:
A. Visual Nighttime Inspection—The retroreflectivity of an existing sign is assessed by a trained sign inspector conducting a visual inspection from a moving vehicle during nighttime conditions. Signs that are visually identified by the inspector to have retroreflectivity below the minimum levels should be replaced.
B. Measured Sign Retroreflectivity—Sign retroreflectivity is measured using a retroreflectometer. Signs with retroreflectivity below the minimum levels should be replaced.
C. Expected Sign Life—When signs are installed, the installation date is labeled or recorded so that the age of a sign is known. The age of the sign is compared to the expected sign life. The expected sign life is based on the experience of sign retroreflectivity degradation in a geographic area compared to the minimum levels. Signs older than the expected life should be replaced.
D. Blanket Replacement—All signs in an area/corridor, or of a given type, should be replaced at specifiedintervals. This eliminates the need to assess retroreflectivity or track the life of individual signs. The replacement interval is based on the expected sign life, compared to the minimum levels, for the shortest-life material used on the affected signs.

MUTCD Regulations for Traffic Cones – Reflective Collar Requirements

Reflective Requirements for Traffic Cones


Our Summary

Traffic Cones need to be orange in color.   For daytime and low speed applications cones need to be 18 inches or taller and do not need reflective bands.  It must be daytime AND traffic must be limited to 40 miles per hour or less.

For areas where traffic is going faster than 45 mph you must use a 28 inch – 36 inch orange cone.  The cone must have two reflective bands.  The top band must be 6″ tall and the bottom band must be 4″ tall.  The space between the two bands needs to be 2″. 

Cone Collars can be purchased at www.colebrothers.com/conecollars .

End of our Summary


 

Section 6F.64 Cones
Standard:
01 Cones (see Figure 6F-7) shall be predominantly orange and shall be made of a material that can be struck without causing damage to the impacting vehicle. For daytime and low-speed roadways, cones shall
be not less than 18 inches in height. When cones are used on freeways and other high-speed highways or at night on all highways, or when more conspicuous guidance is needed, cones shall be a minimum of 28 inches
in height.
02 For nighttime use, cones shall be retroreflectorized or equipped with lighting devices for maximum visibility. Retroreflectorization of cones that are 28 to 36 inches in height shall be provided by a 6-inch wide
white band located 3 to 4 inches from the top of the cone and an additional 4-inch wide white band located approximately 2 inches below the 6-inch band.
03 Retroreflectorization of cones that are more than 36 inches in height shall be provided by horizontal, circumferential, alternating orange and white retroreflective stripes that are 4 to 6 inches wide. Each cone shall have a minimum of two orange and two white stripes with the top stripe being orange. Any non-retroreflective spaces between the orange and white stripes shall not exceed 3 inches in width.
Option:
04 Traffic cones may be used to channelize road users, divide opposing vehicular traffic lanes, divide lanes when two or more lanes are kept open in the same direction, and delineate short duration maintenance and utility work.
Guidance:
05 Steps should be taken to minimize the possibility of cones being blown over or displaced by wind or moving vehicular traffic.
Option:
06 Cones may be doubled up to increase their weight.
Support:
07 Some cones are constructed with bases that can be filled with ballast. Others have specially weighted bases, or weight such as sandbag rings that can be dropped over the cones and onto the base to provide added stability.
Guidance:
08 Ballast should be kept to the minimum amount needed.

Reflective Tape for Gate Arms and Railroad Crossings – MUTCD

Note – This article addresses gate striping requirements for gates that fall under MUTCD requirements.  These would be gates that open onto a DOT regulated road.

Reflective Gate Arm Tape can now be purchased in 1″,2″,3″ and 4″ rolls at www.safety-tapes.com .

Section 2B.68 of the 2009 Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) specifies how gate arms are to be marked.  MUTCD regulations also apply to private property when that property connects to a DOT road.  This regulation covers all gate arms including those used at railroad crossings.  All gates are required to be marked with alternating red and white 16″ sections of reflective tape.  The width will depend on the width of the arm.  It is recommended that a Type 2 or better retro-reflective tape be used.  For more information on minimum reflectivity levels see our article on that subject to the right.

Section 2B.68 Gates

Support:
01 – Gates described in this section used for weather or other emergency conditions are typically permanently installed to enable the gate to be immediately deployed as needed to prohibit the entry of traffic to the highway segment(s).
02 – A gate typically features a gate arm that is moved from a vertical to a horizontal position or is rotated in a horizontal plane from parallel to traffic to perpendicular to traffic. Traffic is obstructed and required to stop when
the gate arm is placed in a horizontal position perpendicular to traffic. Another type of gate consists of a segment of fence (usually on rollers) that swings open and closed, or that is retracted to open and then extended to close.
03 – Gates are sometimes used to enforce a required stop. Some examples of such uses are the following:

A. Parking facility entrances and exits,
B. Private community entrances and exits,
C. Military base entrances and exits,
D. Toll plaza lanes,
E. Movable bridges (see Chapter 4J),
F. Automated Flagger Assistance Devices (see Chapter 6E), and
G. Grade crossings (see Part 8).
04 – Gates are sometimes used to periodically close a roadway or a ramp. Some examples of such uses are
the following:
A. Closing ramps to implement counter-flow operations for evacuations,
B. Closing ramps that lead to reversible lanes, and
C. Closing roadways for weather events such as snow, ice, or flooding, or for other emergencies.

Standard:
05 – Except as provided in Paragraph 6, gate arms, if used, shall be fully retroreflectorized on both sides, have vertical stripes alternately red and white at 16-inch intervals measured horizontally as shown in Figure 8C-1.

Option:
06 – If used on a one-way roadway or ramp, the retroreflectorization may be omitted on the side of the gate facing away from approaching traffic.
07 – Where gate arms are used to block off ramps into reversible lanes or to redirect approaching traffic, the red and white striping may be angled such that the stripes slope downward at an angle of 45 degrees toward the side of
the gate arm on which traffic is to pass.

Standard:
08 – The gate arm shall extend across the approaching lane or lanes of traffic to effectively block motor vehicle and/or pedestrian travel as appropriate.
09 – When gate arms are in the vertical position or rotated to an open position, the closest part of the gate arm and support shall have a lateral offset of at least 2 feet from the face of the curb or the edge of the traveled way.
10 – When gate arms that are located in the median or on an island are in the horizontal position or rotated to a closed position, the closest part of the counterweight or its supports shall h ave a lateral offset of at least 2 feet from the face of the curb or the edge of the traveled way of the open roadway on the opposite side of the median or island.

Guidance:
11 – When a gate that is rotated in a horizontal plane is in the position where it is parallel to traffic (indicating that the roadway is open), the outer end of the gate arm should be rotated to the downstream direction (from the perspective of traffic in the lane adjacent to the gate support) to prevent spearing if the gate is struck by an errant vehicle.
12 – If a pedestrian route is present and if it is not intended that pedestrian traffic be controlled by the gate, a minimum of 2 feet of lateral offset from supports, posts, counterweights, and gate mechanisms should be provided when the gate arm is in the open position and when the gate arm is in the closed position such that pedestrian travel is not impeded.

Option:
13 – Red lights may be attached to traffic gates.
Standard:
14 – If red lights are attached to a traffic gate, the red lights shall be steadily illuminated or flashed only during the period when the gate is in the horizontal or closed position and when the gate is in the process of being opened or closed.
15 – Except as provided in Paragraph 16, rolling sections of fence, if used, shall include either a horizontal strip of retroreflectorized sheeting on both sides of the fence with vertical stripes alternately red and white at 16-inch intervals measured horizontally to simulate the appearance of a gate arm in the horizontal position, or one or more Type 4 object markers (see Section 2C.66), or both. If a horizontal strip of retroreflectorized sheeting is used, the bottom of the sheeting shall be located 3.5 to 4.5 feet above the roadway surface.

Option:
16 If used on a one-way roadway or ramp, the retroreflectorization may be omitted on the side of the fence facing away from approaching traffic.

 

 

 

 


Gate Striping Requirements (Reflective Tape) – Army Corp of Engineers

Note – This article addresses gate striping requirements for gates that fall under MUTCD requirements.  These would be gates that open onto a DOT regulated road.

The US Army Corp of Engineers is requiring that their gates be marked in accordance with the following regulation.  The images below give you a visual synopsis of the requirement.  For gates along a road way where cars would be approaching at higher speeds or at intersections where there is not a stop sign you would use the first image below which is the one with the road closed or the red diamond sign. 

For gates that branch off of a main road or have a stop sign you would use the second example.  Cars in this situation would be moving slower. This is the most likely configuration.

We have two products that are designed to meet these requirements.  One is our Reflexite Gate Arm Tape and the other is our Yellow Prismatic Reflective Tape which act as Type 2 object markers. (also used for Chevron Striping on Fire Trucks)

Here is the regulation.


1. A closed gate across a road is a potential hazard to moving vehicles, bicycles, and possibly pedestrians. Vehicle drivers must be able to see that there is a closed gate ahead and have adequate recognition and stopping distance to avoid hitting the gate. Due to questions raised by the USACE Sign Standards Committee and field personnel, CESO and CEC W personnel have developed this guidance to clarify the marking requirements for road closure gates on USACE parks and property. This particular guidance is for swinging gates; rolling chain-link gates are addressed in Reference d. below. Gates are the only acceptable movable closure; chains, cables, and wire rope are prohibited on roads used by the public.

2. References.
a. EP 310-l-6a & b; USACE Sign Standards Manual

b. EM 385-1-1; USACE Safety and Health Requirements Manual

c. 23 CFR 655, Subpart F-—Traffic Control Devices on Federal-Aid and Other Streets and Highways

d. Federal Highway Administration Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD, rev 2009)

3. 23 CFR 655.603 adopts the MUTCD as the national standard for all traffic control devices installed on any street, highway, bikeway, or private road open to public travel. When a State or other Federal agency manual or supplement is required, that manual or supplement shall be in substantial conformance with the National MUTCD. The MUTCD states that “All regulatory and warning signs installed on public roads and streets within recreational and cultural interest areas shall comply with the requirements of Chapters 2A, 2B, 2C, 7B, 8B, and 9B.” The MUTCD definition of a public road is “Any road. street, or similar facility under the jurisdiction of and maintained by a public agency and open to public travel.”

4. The USACE Sign Standards Manual EP3l()-l-6a on page 9-l states that “The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD) has been adopted as the standard for all Regulatory and Warning signs used on Corps project roadways for vehicular traffic.”

5. While this guidance is intended to describe the minimum acceptable standards for marking roadway gates on USACE properties, the MUTCD encourages decisions concerning a particular traffic sign to be determined using engineering judgment or an engineering study.

6. Gate Marking Guidance:

a. Roads Open to Public Travel

i. Through Roads, Extensions of Federal, State or County Roads; When such roads exist on a USACE property, gates closing traffic to these roads must meet the specific requirements of MUTCD Section 2B.68., 2C.36-39. and 6F.l7. This includes marking the gates (red and white reflective material-paint, tape, etc- on the arms), marking gate stanchions (yellow Type 2 Object Markers), a ROAD CLOSED sign or Type 4 red Object Marker, and possibly providing an Advance Warning Sign ahead of the gate. Refer to Enclosure 1 for specific requirements.

ii. USACE Roads Approved for Public Use: Access Roads, Campground Roads, Scenic Roads. etc; These gates must technically meet the same MUTCD requirements as those in the preceding paragraph, however the local project may use the standards and engineering analysis to develop modified markings based on local factors to include: the design of the gate, potential speed of approaching vehicles, available stopping sight distance, and visibility of the gate and surrounding area at night. Gates that occur along the length of a roadway or at a no-stop intersection should meet all MUTCD requirements if possible. For gates at stop-signed intersections or occurring at an exit off a main route, the minimum recommendation is that the top horizontal bar of the gate be covered end to end with red and white retroreflective material and the stanchions marked with yellow reflective material or Type 2 Object Markers. The use of advance warning signs and Type 4 Object Markers should be decided based on the speed limit, visible distance to the gate while driving, and other factors that make the gate less visible. Refer to Enclosure 2 for further guidelines.

b. Roads Not Open to the Public — USACE access roads, service roads, etc.; Where these roads connect to a through road or public use road, the initial gate should meet the requirements of those public roadways. Internal gates within public vehicle-restricted areas should be marked appropriately with reflectors or reflective tape so that they are readily identifiable while work is performed. Roadways not approved for standard vehicles may be authorized for recreational vehicles (ATVs, snowmobiles, bicycles, etc.); these gates should meet the guidance in paragraph ii, modified as needed by an engineering analysis.

7. These guidelines are intended to bring some standard of uniformity to USACE road gates and to require those that fall under the MUTCD to have appropriate markings. USACE managers should evaluate their properties’ gates along these guidelines and establish a plan to bring their gates into compliance, beginning with the highest risk. New or replacement gates installed after the date of this memo shall follow these marking guidelines.

Enclosure 1

Markings for MUTCD Compliant Gates: permanently installed gates that control through roads, extensions of Federal, State or County roads.
Also recommended for gates on USACE roads that occur along the length of a roadway or at a no-stop intersection where traffic would be expected to be at the speed limit when meeting the gate.
Marking:
Gate arms shall be fully retroreflectorized on both sides, have vertical stripes alternately red and white at l6-inch intervals measured horizontally. lf used on a one-way roadway, the retroreflectorization may be omitted on the side of the gate facing away from approaching traffic.

The gate shall also have either a Type 4 Object Marker (red diamond) or Road Closed sign attached.

Rolling sections of fence, if used as gates, shall include either a horizontal strip of retroreflectorized material on both sides of the fence with vertical stripes alternately red and white at 16-inch intervals measured horizontally to simulate the appearance of a gate arm in the horizontal position and one or more Type 4 object markers . The bottom of the retroreflectorized area shall be located 3.5 to 4.5 feet above the roadway surface.
Gate stanchions or any fixed structure within 8 feet of the roadway shall have Type 2 Object Markers (Yellow reflectors). Gate stanchions and the gate arm, when open, shall be at least 2 feet from the edge of the paved road surface.

Basic appearance of MUTCD-compliant gates: (recommended where gate is along the length of a roadway or at a non stop sign intersection)

Advance Warning Signs
Advance Warning Signs are required for gates that can close through roads and extensions of Federal, State or County roads.

The time needed for detection, recognition, decision, and reaction is called the Perception-Response Time (PRT). This helps establish the distance ahead of the gate that a warning sign should be placed, based on the speed limit and visibility of the gate.

MUTCD Table 2C-4 should be used as an aid for determining warning sign location. The distances can be adjusted for roadway features, other signing, and to improve visibility. The distances are for guidance purposes and should be applied with engineering judgment. Warning signs should not be placed too far in advance of the condition, such that drivers might tend to forget the warning because of other driving distractions.

Signs warning of closed gates should read “ROAD CLOSED AHEAD” and can be permanently fixed or only placed when the gate is closed. Permanently fixed signs should be provided with a cover or be of the folding type so that they cannot be read when the gate is open.

Minimum recommended marking requirements for gates on USACE roads open to the public, when not occurring on the length of a road or at a no-stop intersection. (see diagram below)

The purpose is to make the gate visible when they encounter it. Type 4 Object markers and Road Closed signs would generally be unnecessary on most USACE roads, given the low speeds and placement of the gates at turn-off entrances.

Diagram of the two types of gate marking requirements.  One for gates along the length of a road or an intersection where there is no stop sign and one for gates that branch off a main road or are at a stop sign intersection.