23.3.2023 | Haulage

Have your say on the proposed changes to London’s Direct Vision Standard (DVS)

TfL is asking people to have their say on proposals to improve lorry safety in London by making changes to London’s pioneering Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and HGV safety permit scheme.

Data from 2018 to 2020 showed HGVs were involved in nearly half of the fatal collisions involving people cycling and 19 per cent of collisions involving people walking.

The proposed changes are designed to improve the safety standards of HGVs operating in the capital, further reducing the risks to vulnerable road users such as people walking and cycling.

TfL’s HGV safety permit scheme, first introduced in 2019, requires all operators of HGVs weighing more than 12 tonnes to apply for a permit to operate in London. Data shows that fatal collisions involving HGVs where vision is cited as a contributing factor halved from 12 in 2018, the year before the scheme was introduced, to six in 2021.

A permit is granted if the vehicle meets the minimum DVS star rating, which is based on how much the driver can see directly through their cab windows. Ratings range from zero stars (the lowest rating with poor direct vision) to five stars (the highest rating with excellent direct vision). Vehicles that do not meet the minimum requirements, currently one star, must already have or fit the ‘Safe System’.

TfL (Transport for London) is now asking people and businesses to have their say on recommendations to enhance the current Safe System, taking into account new and emerging technology or safety equipment that was not previously available.

Proposed changes to the Safe System include:

  • Updating existing guidance on the use of mirrors and mirror-replacement Camera Monitoring Systems (CMS).
  • The requirement for CMS fitted on vehicles to eliminate any remaining blind spots on the passenger side.
  • Sensors ensuring full coverage down the passenger side of all vehicles to detect vulnerable road users. They must not activate in relation to roadside furniture or stationary vehicles.
  • Moving Off Information Systems (MOIS) fitted to the front of a vehicle to prevent collisions at the frontal blind spot zone when a vehicle moves off from rest .
  • Audio warnings fitted to all vehicles, including those with a left-hand drive to ensure all vehicles operating in London have the ability to warn of an intended manoeuvre .

The consultation is now open until 3 April 2023 and can be filled in on the TfL’s website.

TfL plans to raise the bar to a three-star Direct Vision Standard in 2024, which will mean that not only zero-rated lorries but also those rated one and two stars will need to install ‘progressive safe system measures’ to receive permits to work in London.

You can read more here.