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Have your say on new Direct Vision legislation from TfL

Jan 31, 2018
Transport for London (TfL) has recently conducted a consultation on imposing Direct Vision Standards (DVS) on all vehicles wishing to operate in the Capital.

TfL says that the responses were generally in support of the principle and it is now considering introducing a Safety Standard Permit Scheme as a control mechanism. Between now and April 2018, vehicle operators have the opportunity of voicing their opinions.

The Safety Standard Permit Scheme will widen the approach, beyond direct vision, to include a safe system approach that will address a broader range of road danger risks. The proposed scheme would require all HGVs over 12 tonnes to hold a Safety Permit to operate in Greater London from 2020. HGVs will be given a rating between ‘zero-star’ (lowest) and ‘five-star’ (highest). Only those vehicles rated ‘one star’ and above would be allowed to enter of operate in London from 2020. Zero rated vehicles would only be allowed if they can prove compliance through safe system measures. By 2024 only ‘three-star’ rated HGVs and above would automatically be given a Safety Permit. HGVs rated two-star and below would need to demonstrate increased safety through progressive safe system measures.

The safe system could include specific industry recognised measures such as sensors, visual warnings and comprehensive driver training. The Safety Standard Permit Scheme would evolve over time, taking into account advances in technology.

Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Policy for London, said: “Road safety is hugely important and one death on the roads is one too many. However, as trucks are manufactured for the whole of Europe, standards for vehicle design should be set at an EU level and not by individual cities. The narrow focus on direct vision was the wrong one and we are glad that the proposals now being consulted on recognise the technical solutions which are now available and the improvements companies have already made.”

She continued: “Whilst the ‘safe system’ proposal is a move in the right direction, the new permit scheme has the potential to make the regulatory environment in London even more complex. The Safety Permit Scheme needs to be simple, reliable and enforceable and should focus on the vehicle only to match the Direct Vision Standard approach.”

RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett said: “It is not acceptable that the ratings will not be known until after the consultation ends. However, we welcome the Mayor’s support for a comprehensive and international approach to vehicle standards and we look forward to working with the Mayors team in support of getting the best road safety outcomes for Londoners and the rest of the UK.”

To take part in the consultation go to www.gov.uk. Submissions must be made by 24 January 2018. The final scheme proposals will be announced in the summer of 2018.

Photo:  Submissions to TfL’s consultation must be made by 24 January, 2018.

 

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