There is just one year to go before heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) that weigh more than 12 tonnes will be required to meet Transport for London’s (TfL’s) minimum three-star Direct Vision Standard (DVS) rating in order to operate in Greater London.
The new standard will come into force from 28 October 2024.
HGV operators unable to meet the three-star rating can fit their vehicles with an updated system of enhanced safety features – known as the Progressive Safe System (PSS) – in order to comply with the scheme.
The DVS and HGV Safety Permit Scheme is a key part of the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London’s transport network.
The changes aim to further enhance the safety standards of HGVs operating in the UK capital, helping them to reduce road danger for all, including vulnerable road users such as people walking and cycling.
According to TfL, which has been shortlisted in four different categories at this year’s CiTTi Awards, data shows that fatal collisions where vision is a contributing factor have fallen by 75% from 2018 to 2023, following the introduction of the DVS.
TfL, which won the Road Safety Award at CiTTi Awards 2022 for the creation of the DVS and HGV Safe System, said it will continue to work with the freight industry to monitor hauliers’ readiness to fit PSS measures ahead of the October 2024 deadline.
In order to give the industry sufficient time to buy, fit, and test any new safety equipment in line with the new PSS there will be a grace period of at least three months following the standard tightening in October.
This will be reviewed with industry, TfL, and London Councils in June 2024.
Christina Calderato, TfL’s director of transport strategy and policy, said: “It’s vital that all vehicles using London’s roads have safety at the forefront of their design and our world-first Direct Vision Standard has helped to significantly improve lorry safety, reducing fatal collisions where vision is a contributing factor by three quarters between 2018 and 2023.
“With one year to go until we enhance the DVS HGV Permit Scheme, we are now encouraging operators to prepare their fleets so that we can take this important next step in making our streets safer for everyone.”
The current Safe System of additional safety measures was developed and consulted on in 2018, and was reviewed by TfL in 2022 to reflect new equipment and technologies available on the market.
TfL consulted operators, manufacturers, suppliers, road user safety groups, industry and other stakeholders on its PSS proposals between 14 February and 03 April 2023.
According to TfL, the consultation showed an “encouraging level of support” (more than 55%) for the principles of DVS, the HGV Safety Permit Scheme and the principles underpinning the PSS.
In September 2023, TfL published an updated DVS Guide for Operators along with technical specifications for Moving Off Information Systems and Blind Spot Information System to fully reflect the enhanced DVS requirements and the new PSS that will replace the existing Safe System.
The guidance provides an overview of the HGV Safety Permit Scheme and sets out the vehicle requirements needed to get a permit.
It also provides details of how the HGV Safety Permit Scheme changed, demonstrating how the PSS is an enhancement of the existing Safe System.
Innovations and achievements in road safety will be celebrated at the second annual CiTTi Awards on 21 November 2023 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Visit www.cittiawards.co.uk to learn more about this unmissable event for the UK’s transportation sector – and to book your table today!