With Transport for London’s (TfL) Direct Vision Standard (DVS) set to be rolled out from 26 October 2020, hauliers are being encouraged to plan ahead.
The standards have been created following the release of shocking data about the number of fatal collisions involving HGVs. Introduced as part of the Mayor of London’s ‘Vision Zero’ initiative, the standards are intended to prevent HGVs with impaired visibility of the road from entering Greater London.
The introduction of star ratings
The Direct Vision Standard uses a star system to rate trucks over 12 tonnes according to the view drivers have of the road from the driving seat – the zero-star rating being the lowest and the five-star rating, the highest.
Those failing to achieve one star will be banned from entering or operating in Greater London unless they have fitted certain safety measures, which are set out in a new ‘Safe System’.
From 26 October 2024, any vehicle that doesn’t meet the DVS three-star rating will be banned from entering or operating in the capital.
How to prepare:
- Get to know the scheme – From October 2020, HGVs over 12 tonnes that fail to meet the one-star rating will only be granted a safety permit if they comply with the specified ‘Safe System’, which includes a fully-operational camera monitoring system and audible indicators. The penalties for entering the capital without a safety permit are likely to be considerable – £550 per offence and a driver penalty of £150.
- Plan ahead – To avoid potential penalties and the risk of operational disruption, haulier operators should seek the advice of a tech partner and plan ahead for the changes. With the latest camera monitoring systems able to be fitted in a matter of hours and a review of DVS equipment and technologies already scheduled for 2024, it is a sensible time to start thinking about the future.
- Take a proactive approach – Improving driver visibility will not only ensure DVS compliance, it will also demonstrate the HGV fleet operator’s commitment to protecting the safety of its drivers and other road users. While there is still some uncertainty over the specific changes that operators will need to make to secure a star rating, detailed guidance is now available and has been published at the TfL’s website.