Direct Vision standards published by TfL

Transport for London (TfL) has finally unveiled its long-awaited star rating system for the direct vision that drivers have from the cabs of HGVs in the metropolitan area.

The full details of the direct vision standards and star rating system can be found at http://safertrucks.org.uk/

The new Direct Vision Standard categorises HGVs according to the level of the driver’s direct vision. It starts with a ‘zero star’ rating at the lowest and a ‘five star’ rating on the best vehicles in this regard. Only three star rated vehicles will be able to drive on the streets of London from 2024, unless they have comprehensive safety systems to mitigate the lack of direct vision.

The system needs to be approved by the GLA. Should it be approved, it will require all HGVs entering London that are 12 tonnes or more to have a safety permit from 2020. HGVs with a one star rating will automatically be offered a permit. Those with zero stars will have to have specific safety systems. The new Direct Vision Standard is designed to evolve over time as technology improves.

The details of this ‘safe system’ will be included in an autumn consultation. Confirmed star ratings will subsequently be published.

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. Alongside the Mayor, we are committed to ridding London’s streets of dangerous vehicles and are taking a Vision Zero approach to road danger. We welcome the industry’s feedback on our latest proposals for the Direct Vision Standard as we work together to improve vehicle safety.”

Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett said: “The proposal for Direct Vision Standards may be part of the road safety mix; however it is unlikely to be the panacea to the road safety challenges faced by London.

“TfL have not been clear about what impact the proposal will have on road safety as the focus has been on the engineering standards and visibility from the cab in isolation from other factors.”

Nevertheless, he 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 and to have recognition that the issue is complex and will require a lot more work to ensure that the best possible road safety benefits are obtained.”
 
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