Starting October 2024, Transport for London (TfL) has announced stricter safety standards for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) operating in Greater London. Here's a breakdown of what these changes mean and why they matter:
The New Requirements:
HGVs weighing over 12 tonnes must either have a minimum three-star Direct Vision Standard (DVS) rating or be equipped with the Progressive Safe System (PSS), a set of updated safety features.
There's a three-month grace period from October 2024 for operators to meet these requirements.
Why the Change?
The decision by London Councils Transport and Environment Committee aims to enhance road safety in London.
The DVS rating is based on how well a driver can see through the vehicle's cab windows, which is crucial in areas prone to collisions.
Data indicates a significant reduction in fatal collisions due to vision issues since the introduction of the HGV safety permit scheme in 2019. Fatalities dropped by half from 2018 to 2021 and further decreased from 2021 to 2023.
The Progressive Safe System (PSS):
This updated safety system includes guidelines on using mirrors and Camera Monitoring Systems (CMS) to eliminate blind spots.
Vehicles will need Moving Off Information Systems (MOIS) at the front to prevent frontal collisions and audio warnings for intended manoeuvres.
After consultations, TfL decided to make sensors on articulated vehicle trailers a recommendation rather than a mandate.
How to Comply:
Operators of zero, one, and two-star rated vehicles must register with TfL and provide evidence of an appointment to install PSS equipment by January 31, 2025.
This doesn't apply to new vehicle Safety Permits post-October 28, 2024.
Enhancements to the Application Process:
TfL plans to introduce user experience improvements, including a tool for operators to check vehicle permits, streamlining the HGV safety permit application process.
A Word from the Authorities:
Christina Calderato, TfL's director of transport strategy and policy, emphasized their commitment to the Vision Zero goal, aiming to eliminate death and serious injury from London's transport network. The Direct Vision Standard has already reduced fatal collisions where vision was a factor by three-quarters between 2018 and 2023.
These changes underscore London's commitment to road safety. Business owners operating HGVs in London should prepare in advance to ensure compliance and contribute to a safer capital.