International recommendations for colour vision requirements for transport

CIE 143:2001
Division 4
978 3 901906 09 1

This Technical Report details the official CIE Recommendations for requirements of colour vision that are necessary to ensure safe and reliable recognition of coloured signal lights and other colour coded visual information devices.

The aim of the report is to encourage international harmonisation in colour vision requirements in maritime, air, rail and road transport, and the use of valid methods for the assessment of colour vision.

The recommendations take into account the complexity of the colour codes used, the observation conditions likely to be encountered and the importance of colour recognition to safety in the various transport modes. The report summarises the studies that document the kind of difficulties experienced by persons with defective colour vision and the studies that show defective colour vision is a risk factor.

The report defines three colour vision standards:

  • normal colour vision,
  • defective colour vision A where those with a mild colour vision deficiency can demonstrate their ability to see and recognise coloured signal lights, and
  • defective colour vision B where those with defective colour vision can demonstrate their ability to recognise surface colour codes at a short distance, such as those used on colour coded computer screens.

The report also recommends test procedures for the assessment of colour vision. Detailed information on the recommende colour vision tests is given in an appendix.

The Technical Report is written in English, with a short summary in French and German. It consists of 47 pages, with 10 figures and 2 tables.

The following members of TC 4-31 "International recommendations for colour vision requirements for transport" took part in the preparation of this Technical Report:

  • B.L. Cole, Australia (Chairman)
  • J.D. Maddocks, Australia (Secretary)
  • A.J. Adams, USA
  • S.R. Bandyopadhyay, India
  • J. Birch, Great Britain
  • J. Campos Acosta, Spain
  • S.J. Dain, Australia
  • A. Hedin, Sweden
  • W. Kitahara, Japan
  • R.N. Schwab, USA
  • B.W. Tansley, Canada
  • F. Viénot, France
  • J.J. Vos, The Netherlands
  • P.L. Walraven, The Netherlands

Corresponding members:

  • C. Donizeau, France
  • J. Hovis, Canada
  • A.J. Lewis, USA
  • B.S. Liddy, Canada
  • Y. Nakashima, Japan
  • N.E. Pollard, Great Britain
  • H. Yaguchi, Japan
  • A.J. Vingrys, Australia