Transport for London (TfL) has recently proposed a new rating system in order to categorise heavy goods vehicle drivers' direct line of sight from inside the cab.As part of the development of theVision Zero approach for London's roads, the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) uses star ratings from zeroto five(with zero being the lowest rating) to denote the quality of a driver’s vision, with an aim to have only those vehicles at three stars and above operating in the capital by 2024.
Direct Action to Improve Safety
Alongside the star rating system, the proposal advocates the implementation of a safety permit requirement for HGVs carrying out delivery work within London. This would see HGVs (over 12t) with anything above a one-star rating automatically issued with a permit, but those with a zero-star rating would be required to undergo modifications (with sensor systems and the like) before being able to receive a permit.
The permit scheme is designed to be an evolving one, with changes and advances in technology taken into consideration and reviewed at regular intervals.
The Direct Vision Standard
Working in partnership with the Mayor of London, theDVS is being developed by TfLin an effort to make the capital's roads safer for everyone. Spokesperson and Director of City Planning, Alex Williams, says both TfL and the Mayor were 100% committed to ridding the streets of unsafedelivery workvehicles in order to reduce the risks for cyclists and pedestrian road users.
For haulage companies, the scheme will affect those doing delivery work around the capital's busy roads in terms of compliance and driver training. Designed to be as simple as possible, the star rating system is just one of the changes for whichTfL is lobbying the European Commission. They're also proposing a range of other changes to HGV design and safety regulations across the board to make London's roads a safer place to drive, walk and cycle.
Implementation of the DVS
TfL has already released interim star ratings for direct vision for Euro IV HGVs, and the system is the first to categorise vehicles in terms of their direct line of sight from the cab. Further star rating for other models are scheduled to be released soon, and are expected to serve as a motivation for manufacturers to begin creating vehicles that are not only compliant with the Ultra-Low Emissions requirements, but also with the DVS.
Working with the Haulage Industry
In a statement regarding the DVS, TfL praised the haulage industry, acknowledging that ithad been highly supportive of the initiative andhad already made a number of successful advancements focused on vehicle safety. But while TfL recognises the vital need for HGVs to be allowed to operate on London's roads, they said that more changes are needed in order to improve safety. They welcomed feedback for the DVSfrom haulage companies and professional drivers who carry out delivery work within the capital.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching delivery work with available drivers. Over 4,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.