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TFL-Direct-Vision-StandardAs part of the Mayor of London’s 'Vision Zero' plan to reduce the number of road accidents involving heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), Transport for London (TfL) have released interim ratings and guidelines for the upcoming Direct Vision Standard (DVS) scheme that will affect all HGV fleets from 2020.

For those not up-to-date with the latest proposals, the DVS will give all HGVs across the capital a star rating from zero (lowest) to five (highest) based on how clearly the driver can see around the vehicle through the windows of the cab.


Improved Safety Through Better Vision 

The plans will require all HGVs over 12 tonnes to hold a safety permit which will allow them to enter and operate in the Capital from 2020. Those rated ‘one star’ and above automatically be granted a DVS permit, however any vehicle deemed unsafe will be given a ‘zero-star’ rating and would require industry recognised safety systems such as in-cab cameras, proximity sensors, visual displays and audible alerts to be properly installed to the vehicle before a permit is granted.


                                                                           Star Rating

                                                                                          Star Rating

Fleet operators and drivers should be aware that by 2024, any vehicle that does not have at least three stars or advanced safety technology will be unable to operate on London’s roads.

Further updates will be revealed in the autumn consultation and TFL will continue to work with industry experts, road transport organisations and road users to devise a safe and fair compliance system that will benefit everyone travelling around the city.

The plans have arisen in part due to the tragic spate of cyclist deaths that occurred in 2011 and have continued over the last few years. Between 2014 and 2015 there were a disproportionately high number of fatal collisions between HGVs, cyclists (58%) and pedestrians (22.5%) in London that was believed to be a result of poor driver visibility around the vehicle -especially on the near-side blind spot. Worryingly, information released by TFL suggests that over half of all HGVs over 12 tonnes will not even qualify for a one-star rating from the Direct Vision Standard.

Transport Industry Response

Organisations including the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and Freight Transport Association (FTA) had previously expressed concerns over the impact of these new regulations on fleet operators as the restrictions had created uncertainty over whether their vehicles will be eligible to work in London after three years. It was also suggested that the associated costs of acquiring a permit and enhancing vehicle safety may unfairly impact smaller businesses.

Alex Williams, TfL's Director of City Planning, said: “Businesses across the Capital need HGVs to operate, however the number of deaths involving HGVs is unacceptable. The industry has already made significant advancements to safety and has been very keen to support to the work we are doing to go even further and develop the Direct Vision Standard.”

In response to the proposal updates, Richard Burnett, chief executive of the RHA said: “It is positive that we now have an opportunity to work with TfL and the industry to find an effective solution to improve road safety in a balanced way.”

For the latest industry opinions on the proposals from representatives at Renault, Volvo, the RHA and the FTA, you can visit UK Haulier online. Full details of the compliance standard will be released in Autumn where the confirmed star-ratings and criteria will be published.

New Vehicle Technology

If you are interested in discovering what new vehicle safety technology is currently available for commercial fleets or you would like to get a better insight into the latest transport compliance legislation for HGVs, you can attend the upcoming FORS members conference in Birmingham where we will be exhibiting our cutting-edge 1080p high-definition live-stream CCTV camera systems, tracking software, telematics devices and ADAS on stand 14.

You can also find us attending the Freight in the City Expo taking place at Alexandra Palace on 7th November, where we will be showcasing our full product range on stand S24.

For more information on the Direct Vision Standard you can download TFL’s Direct Vision Safety document.


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