Specification change to Direct Vision Standard announced

News Videos

A change to London’s Direct Vision Standard has been made to ease the fitting of sensors to articulated lorries.

The update will prevent false positive warnings from sensors going off unnecessarily when the vehicle is turning left.

Sensors to warn a driver when a cyclist or pedestrian is coming up on the inside will be mandatory for some HGVs entering Greater London under new rules coming into force on 26 October 2020.

The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) is designed to reduce the risk of accidents caused when vulnerable road users enter blind spots around HGVs.

All HGVs over 12 tonnes will be rated from zero- to five-stars for the ease with which drivers can see people who are close to their vehicles.

Those with zero stars will not be allowed to enter Greater London without fitting a range of safety equipment including cameras, extra mirrors, side under-run protection, audible alerts when the vehicle is turning left and sensors to warn driver when a cyclist or pedestrian comes up on the inside.

Fleet operators must obtain a permit for any HGV over 12 tonnes from Transport for London (TfL) demonstrating that the vehicle meets the new requirements – or face a penalty charge of £550 each time it enters the area, with a reduction for prompt payment. The driver will also receive a £130 penalty.

Operators may not be aware of the subtle change to the DVS specification, which is designed to ease the fitting of sensors on lorries

One potential problem identified with sensors fitted to the cabs of articulated lorries is that they could be set off by the trailer when the vehicle is turning – giving a ‘false positive’ warning when no-one is in the danger zone to the nearside of the lorry.

However, a recent change to the DVS specification states that sensors on artic cabs must be “suitably positioned to provide sufficient coverage, but preventing activation solely on articulation of the trailer”.

The specification change has been welcomed by industry, including Brigade Electronics, a manufacturer of road safety equipment.

Emily Hardy, UK marketing manager, Brigade Electronics, said: “This new wording now offers more flexibility on the positioning of sensors on tractor units and resolves one of our main concerns on this specification.

“The previous specification stated that sensors should not be set off by street furniture – it is good to see that they now must not be set off by the lorry trailers themselves.”