Q&A - Adding Extra Reflectors

Q&A ImageI drive a Toyota Corolla sedan and a lot of time do night driving. For the safety of me, my family and other road users, Can I stick additional red reflecting tape (that’s available in Canadian Tire) on the rear bumper of my car? I did a search on Google but I did not get a definitive answer.

I am planning to put 1.5” X 10” on both the ends of my rear bumper.  Please advise.

Comments

Answer

This is what the regulations have to say about reflectors:

Reflective devices

4.21  (1) A vehicle must be equipped with at least one red reflector at the rear of the vehicle, either separate or incorporated into a tail lamp, that is mounted at a height of not less than 38 cm and not more than 1.83 m.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a vehicle manufactured before January 1, 1958.

(3) Only amber reflectors may be mounted on the front or side of a vehicle.

(4) Only red reflectors may be mounted on the rear of a vehicle or on the side of the vehicle at or toward the rear of the vehicle.

(5) A vehicle with an overall width of 2.05 m or more, or a trailer or semitrailer having a gross weight in excess of 1 400 kg, must be equipped with at least

(a) 2 amber reflectors mounted on the side of the vehicle, trailer or semitrailer near the front,

(b) 2 amber reflectors mounted on the side of the vehicle, trailer or semitrailer near the rear, and

(c) 2 red reflectors mounted on the rear of the vehicle, trailer or semitrailer.

(6) A trailer or semitrailer must be equipped with at least one red reflector on the rear of the vehicle at each side.

(7) A pole trailer must be equipped with at least

(a) one amber reflector on each side of the vehicle at the front and the horizontal mid-point, and

(b) one red reflector on the rear of the vehicle or load at each side.

(8) A commercial trailer with a width of more than 2.05 m and a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 4 536 kg must be equipped with reflective markings on the rear and side of the vehicle to meet the approved standards established by the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Canada) and the applicable SAE standards

(a) on and after January 1, 2000 if the vehicle was manufactured on or after December 1, 1993, and

(b) on and after January 1, 2002 if the vehicle was manufactured before December 1, 1993.

(9) Despite subsections (1) to (7), reflective markings may replace red or amber reflectors on the side or rear of a vehicle.

(9) is the subsection that you are interested in, and reflective markings are:

"reflective marking" means a reflective tape or rigid plastic reflector that complies with all the requirements for reflective devices as stated in Technical Standards Document No. 108 of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulation (Canada);

The links on Transport Canada's web site that explain this are currently not working, so I am unable to post more on this right now.

The inspection standards used by designated inspection facilities call for a vehicle to be rejected if any reflector does not meet CMVSS/FMVSS, DOT/SAE, or is labelled marked as such. Any reflective tape that you do apply will need SAE or DOT C2 marking.

CVSE Response

I also queried the Commercial Vehicle Safety & Enforcement Branch of the provincial government. Geof Ford, the Program Advisor of Vehicle Inspections & Standards Program replied as follows:

As noted previously in the highlighted section 4.21(9) Despite subsections (1) to (7), reflective markings may replace red or amber reflectors on the side or rear of a vehicle. This would permit a vehicle to replace there reflectors with the markings.

Further, there is no noted prohibition regarding further safety markings on a vehicle.

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