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FMCSA Conspicuity Requirement for Commercial Vehicles

reflective tapeThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a final rule on Dec. 10, 1992, requiring that trailers manufactured on or after December 1, 1993, which have an overall width of 2,032 mm (80 inches) or more and a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 4,536 kg (10,000 pounds), except 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 rule allows trailer manufacturers to install either red and white retroreflective sheeting or reflex reflectors. Manufacturers of retroreflective sheeting or reflectors or just simply reflective tapes are required to certify compliance of their product with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108 (49 CFR 571.108) whether the product is for use as original or replacement equipment. The manufacturers certification will  consist of one of the following markings depending on the type of conspicuity material:

DOT-C Rectangular reflex reflectors certified as meeting the standard.

  • DOT-C2 50 millimeter (mm) wide retroreflective sheeting material certified as meeting the standard.
  • DOT-C3 75 mm wide retroreflective sheeting certified as meeting the standard.
  • DOT-C4 100 mm wide retroreflective sheeting certified as meeting the standard.

See detailed FMCSA rules here.

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