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Crunch Time For the Direct Vision Standard

Transport for London (TfL) has announced the launch of a final public consultation for the Direct Vision Standard.

The Direct Vision Standard, devised to eliminate blind spots on lorries and large vehicles, was designed to reduce the risk of road accidents caused by HGV drivers’ limited field of vision. HGV owners will be encouraged to retrofit their vehicles with systems which are compliant with the standard, which will then qualify them for the associated Safety Permit for HGVs.

Restrictions in the field of vision of HGV drivers have been identified as a significant contributor to the high rate of collisions, leading to the initial proposal of a Direct Vision Standard. Research conducted by TfL has shown that, despite making up only four per cent of road traffic in London, HGVs were disproportionately represented in fatal road collisions between 2015 and 2017, 63 per cent of which involved cyclists and 25 per cent involving pedestrians. In 2017 around 4,000 people in total were either killed or severely injured in road collisions on London’s roads.

 

 

It has been well received by most organisations. Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns and advocacy, welcomed TfL’s plans. He said: “This is the first scheme of its type in the world which is looking to address directly the cause of many pedestrian and cyclist fatalities: poorly designed lorry cabs restrict visibility. We encourage other cities to share the mayor’s [Sadiq Khan] vision to make our roads safer for all users.”

Whilst the scheme mostly has broad support, there has been criticism from some quarters. Head of Urban Policy for the Freight Transport Association, Natalie Chapman states: “Logistics operators do a remarkable job keeping the capital supplied with goods under very difficult circumstances. The Mayor should take another look at this scheme and delay the start dates to give organisations the chance to prepare properly. In the end he’s going to make it harder and more expensive for London’s residents and its businesses to get the goods and services they need.”

TfL’s final consultation with the public on the Direct Vision Standard will focus particularly on the process of acquiring a Safety Permit for HGVs, outlining the criteria for the permit and emphasising the necessity of minimising HGV blind spots. Pending the approval of the consultation, the first round of permits are expected to be issued in October 2019; with operators invited to apply for permits via TfL’s website.

As accredited FORS members, Fleet Witness are perfectly positioned to provide connected camera systems which meet the standard. Adding proximity sensors and turn alarms completes the package. The system can be monitored in realtime using Fleet Witness Live.

If you are unsure about what you need to do to prepare your fleet for DVS then please get in touch with a Fleet Witness representative and we will talk you through the process.

Please call on: 0203 897 3600 or email info@fleetwitness.co.uk