Following reports of a number of accidents where motorists and motor cyclists had collided with unlit builders' skips sustaining serious jury, the Government has decided to introduce the Builders' Skips (Markings) Regulations 1984.
With effect from 1 January 1986 the Regulations require all builders' skips deposited in the roadway to be fitted with red and yellow fluorescent/reflective markings. The only exception is where the skip is completely off the road on a footpath or verge (as is the case with bottlebank containers).
Even with these markings a skip must also be properly lit at night and meet any other conditions imposed by the local highway authority when granting permission for the skip to be placed in the road or on the highway.
Skips come in various shapes and sizes. This page attempts to show how the marking plates can be used to best effect on different types of skips.
The markings on the skips are the same design and construction as the vertical rear markings on heavy goods vehicles. They must conform to, and be marked with the British Standards Number BS AU 152 : 1970.
Painted markings are illegal. Only vertical markings are to be fitted.
The marking plates should be a full 700mm high and 140mm wide. If a skip with lower ends is being used the plates may also be lower, with the minimum legal height of any plate being 350mm, but with a corresponding extra width to give the same visibility.
The area of any plate should never be less than 980 square centimetres.
The fluorescent/reflective materials should not be attached directly onto the end of the skip as they will be difficult to replace when worn. It is better to attach lorry type rear marker plates onto the skip.
If a skip is used regularly a permanent plate fixture using rivets is recommended. If the markings are only occasionally needed then a temporary fixing with screws can be used.
But for either permanent or occasional use the markings must always be fitted to the skip in a Vertical position.
Height: The plate(s) should be attached as near to the top rim of the skip as possible provided that:
Spacing: The plates should be as near to the skip's side edge as possible provided that:
If a skip is positioned sideways on the road the markings must be fixed onto the sides which then form the ends of the skip facing oncoming traffic (see figure 8).
The markings must be clean and clearly visible at all times. The new law puts the onus on. skip operators to ensure the markings are kept in good repair and are replaced when damaged or badly worn.
The attached illustrations show the recommended fixing positions of markings to various types of skips. If you have difficulty in deciding how to fix markings to a skip not shown here, please write to the address below enclosing a photograph or drawing of the skip in question.
(Department of Transport, Traffic Signs Branch, Room S16/13 2 Marsham Street, Lonndon SW1P 3EB).
Also reproduced at the end of this page are extracts from the Regulations relating to the design and fitting of the markings.
Figure 1 - Skip with equal sized low ends
Where there is a top strengthening bar set the plate tower so that it is not obscured by the bar.
Figure 2 - Mini-Skip
Figure 3 - Skip with different sized ends; one very low
Figure 4 - Skip with high end
Figure 5 - Skip with angled end
If the space available between the ribs is less than 350mm, the plate must be mounted lower
Figure 6 - Skip with drop end door
Figure 7 - Demountable body with opening end doors
Skip frame and door pillar are too narrow to mount plates, i.e. under 140mm.
Figure 8 - Skip placed sideways on the road
Figure 9 - Skip end with lamp housings and other structural obstructions
If the space available between obstructions is less than 350mm, the plates must be mounted nearer the centre
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