U.S. to require trailer retrofit of reflective tape

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 29) — New U.S. transportation safety rules will require trucking companies to install reflective tape or reflectors on older trailers, the first time trucking companies have had to retrofit vehicles to meet a new vehicle standard.

The regulation, applicable to trailers made before Dec. 1, 1993, will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register this week. It will require motor carriers to complete retrofitting of older trailers within two years of the effective date.

The rule is part of a U.S. Dept. of Transportation effort to reduce the number of crashes of passenger cars into truck trailers at night and in times of reduced visibility.

Since 1993, trailer manufacturers have been required to equip new trailers with red and white reflective tape or reflex reflectors. Motor carriers that have voluntarily fitted pre-1993 trailers with colors other than red and white tape will be allowed to use the non-conforming colors for 10 years. However, the rule requires that, at the end of the 10-year transition period, all trailers must be equipped with red-and-white reflective tape or reflex reflectors.

The rule is available to the public in the DOT Docket (Docket Number 1997-2222), posted on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov/.

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