Transport for London
One year to go until world-leading Direct Vision Standard strengthened
From October 2024, HGVs over 12 tonnes will be required to have a three-star rating or fit a Progressive Safe System (PSS) of vehicle safety measures to operate in Greater London.
- While the first phase of the scheme has been a great success, it was always going to be continually updated
- Fatal collisions where vision was a contributing factor have fallen by 75 per cent following the introduction of DVS
- Improving vehicle safety features will further reduce the level of risk to vulnerable road users including people walking and cycling
- A three-month grace period from 28 October 2024 will be offered to the industry to comply with the new PSS
With one year to go until Transport for London (TfL) enhances the HGV Safety Permit Scheme, TfL is encouraging operators to prepare their fleets. While the first phase of the scheme has been a great success, it was always going to be continually updated. TfL set out their plans to do so in June this year following public consultation. Sadly, people continue to be killed and seriously injured in collisions, and this next phase of the scheme will harness new technology on the market to make our roads even safer. From 28 October 2024, HGVs over 12 tonnes will require a minimum three-star Direct Vision Standard (DVS) rating or to fit the updated system of enhanced safety features - the Progressive Safe System (PSS) - in order to operate in Greater London. The DVS and HGV Safety Permit Scheme is a key part of the Mayor of London's Vision Zero plan to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London's transport network. These changes aim to further enhance the safety standards of HGVs operating in the capital, helping them to reduce road danger for all, including vulnerable road users such as people walking and cycling.
Making roads safer is a priority for TfL and the freight industry. Data shows that fatal collisions where vision is a contributing factor have fallen by 75 per cent from 2018 to 2023. This shows the importance of the HGV Safety Permit Scheme in reducing road danger in London. DVS is also a world first and its impacts are being felt across the UK and EU. The work TfL has undertaken with manufacturers has already seen the EU incorporate direct vision into safety standards. The European Commission expects that this, along with other safety measures being introduced, will save an estimated 25,000 lives by 2038*.
TfL will continue to work closely with the freight industry to monitor hauliers' readiness to fit PSS measures ahead of October 2024. In order to give the industry sufficient time to buy, fit, and test any new safety equipment in line with the new PSS there will be a grace period of at least three months following the standard tightening in October. This will be reviewed with industry, TfL, and London Councils in June 2024.
The current Safe System of additional safety measures was developed and consulted on in 2018, and was reviewed by TfL in 2022 to reflect new equipment and technologies available on the market. TfL consulted operators, manufacturers, suppliers, road user safety groups, industry and other stakeholders on its PSS proposals between 14 February and 3 April 2023. The consultation showed an encouraging level of support (more than 55 per cent) for the principles of DVS, the HGV Safety Permit Scheme and the principles underpinning the PSS.
Last month, TfL published an updated DVS Guide for Operators along with technical specifications for Moving Off Information Systems (MOIS) and Blind Spot Information System (BSIS) to fully reflect the enhanced DVS requirements and the new PSS that will replace the existing Safe System. The guidance provides an overview of the HGV Safety Permit Scheme and sets out the vehicle requirements needed to get a permit. It also provides details of how the HGV Safety Permit Scheme changed, demonstrating how the PSS is an enhancement of the existing Safe System.
Christina Calderato, TfL's Director of Transport Strategy and Policy, said: "We are determined to make roads safer for everyone and are committed to Vision Zero, the Mayor's goal to eliminate death and serious injury from the transport network. It's vital that all vehicles using London's roads have safety at the forefront of their design and our world-first Direct Vision Standard has helped to significantly improve lorry safety, reducing fatal collisions where vision is a contributing factor by three quarters between 2018 and 2023. With one year to go until we enhance the DVS HGV Permit Scheme, we are now encouraging operators to prepare their fleets so that we can take this important next step in making our streets safer for everyone."
Will Norman, London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner, recently said:
"London's world-leading Direct Vision Standard is helping to significantly improve lorry safety in the capital. However, every death and serious injury on our roads is one too many and it is clear that further safety measures are required. From October 2024, TfL is enhancing the DVS HGV Permit Scheme. TfL is now encouraging operators to prepare their fleets and ensure they meet the new safety standards.
"More Londoners are walking and cycling than ever before and this bold action is a major step forward in the Mayor's Vision Zero plan to eradicate all deaths and injuries from our roads, and will hopefully transform road safety across Europe in the coming years."
Notes to Editors
- London Councils Transport and Environment Committee (TEC) has high level oversight of the HGV Safety Permit Scheme which is implemented by a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) approved by the Committee. TfL manages the scheme day to day under delegated authority.
- TfL will keep the three-month grace period under review and will consider in partnership with London Councils Transport and Environment Committee (TEC) whether any further extension to the grace period is needed, in June 2024
- Data on the numbers of fatal collisions before and after the introduction of the DVS is available on the TfL website at https://haveyoursay.tfl.gov.uk/21522/widgets/62884/documents/38075
- Data on the numbers of fatal collisions in 2023 following DVS is available at https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/node/40492
- TfL will review the DVS and HGV safety permit Scheme again in 2028 with any further changes, if deemed necessary, introduced from October 2030
- The new guidance replaces TfL's HGV safety permits guidance published in 2019 and can be found here: https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/deliveries-in-london/delivering-safely/direct-vision-in-heavy-goods-vehicles
- More information about TfL's Direct Vision Standard is available here *https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_19_1793
More information on the upcoming changes to the DVS scheme can be found here.
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