A scheme to remove the most dangerous Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) from London’s streets has been launched by the Mayor Sadiq Khan, Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils.
The first of its kind, the Direct Vision Standard will aim to tackle road danger at its source by minimising HGV blind spots which reportedly contribute to many tragic deaths and life-changing injuries.
Based on how much a driver can see directly through their cab windows, the star system has been designed to rate HGVs over 12 tonnes from zero (lowest) to five (highest). HGVs will need to meet a minimum ‘one-star’ rating by the time enforcement begins to enable them to operate in London, or will need to fit ‘Safe System’ measures to improve the vehicle’s safety.
Big lorries are said to be disproportionately involved in fatal collisions. Reports have suggested that whilst they account for just 4% of the overall miles driven in the capital, between 2015 and 2017, HGVs were involved in 63% of fatal collisions involving cyclists and 25% involving pedestrians.
Operators will be to apply for a HGV Safety Permit ahead of enforcement beginning on 26 October 2020. HGV operators who fail to meet these new minimum safety standards and obtain a permit will be issued a penalty charge for driving in the capital. The Direct Vision Standard will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will be enforced within the Greater London Boundary.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m proud of our world-leading plans to remove the most dangerous lorries from London’s streets. So many of the tragic deaths on our roads involve HGVs and this new scheme will help save lives.
“Forward-looking businesses have already been choosing safer vehicles in the run up to HGV safety permits becoming available. The scheme has gone live and operators now have just 12 months to upgrade their fleets, helping make our streets much safer for people walking and cycling.”