Emergency vehicle visual identification can serve two purposes:

  1. To identify and give a message;

  2. To be so visible that it won’t cause an additional incident.

With the new micro-prismatic reflective sheeting, you can meet both of them. Many studies have proven that a highly visible “broken” pattern catches more oncoming driver’s attention than continuous lines.

Proof point:

DOT conspicuity tape for semi-trailers is a broken pattern of red and white, and not just all red or all white.

Chevrons on the rear of Emergency vehicles are a broken pattern of red & another color, in an inverted V shape.

Even new strobe light bars don’t just flash on and off, but attract more attention with a “non-constant” pattern of changing flashing rate!

European “Battenburg” is an option being considered in North America because many cities and departments have understood that increased visibility enhances driver safety.

This is often done the “easy” way by digital printing or screen-printing over glass bead reflective sheeting (3M 680 style)

Adding “inks”, even if translucent, reduces the luminous intensity of the reflective markings at night, so if this is the option you want, it is advantageous to at least start using sheeting with the highest possible luminous intensity available.

To attain the highest reflective result, it is preferable to use “un-inked” conspicuity grade products and build your own pattern. Squares of any size of products like Reflexite V-98 butted together like a checkerboard not only single out an emergency vehicle from a great distance, but produce the maximum luminous intensity at night, often visible up to 8X the distance of regular screen/digital printed glass bead markings.

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Here is a description of a “real” Battenburg marking.