Tale of the trailer tape

WASHINGTON — If you’re reading this and it’s June and your trailers still have any colors other than red-and-white reflective materials on the sides and lower rear, you’re running non-compliant, at least in the U.S.

Monday, June 1, is the final day of the “grandfathering” period that allowed older trailers to be marked by anything other than red-and-white tape or reflectors.

(The rules apply to any trailers over 80 inches wide, except mobile offices or homes.)

All trailers built since 1993 have been shipped with conspicuity tape or reflectors in an alternating red-and-white pattern, but older trailers were permitted to continue with other colors. Until June 1, 2009.

One exception: Trailers built before Dec.1, 1993, still do not need conspicuity treatments on the under-ride protection device; a.k.a., ICC bumper.

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