Mayor launches ‘first of its kind’ lorry safety scheme in the capital

Sadiq Khan has launched a scheme to ‘revolutionise lorry safety’ in London this week, in a bid to make the capital’s streets a safer place for those walking and cycling.

First outlined in 2016, the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) aims to minimise HGV blind sports with a star-based rating system and HGV safety permit scheme. A proposal brought about in January this year called for HGVs over 12 tonnes to require a permit to enter or operate in Greater London.

Dependent on how much a lorry driver can see directly through their cab windows, the star system rates HGVs over 12 tonnes from zero (lowest) to five (highest), with HGVs needing to meet a minimum one-star rating by the time enforcement begins on 26th October 2020.

From this week, operators can apply for a HGV Safety Permit ahead of enforcement. Those who fail to meet the minimum safety standards and obtain a permit will be issued a penalty charge for driving in the capital.

The DVS will operate 24/7 and be enforced within the Greater London boundary.

“I’m proud of our world-leading plans to remove the most dangerous lorries from London’s streets,” said Khan this week. “So many of the tragic deaths on our roads involve HGVs and this new scheme will save lives. Today the scheme has gone live and operators now have 12 months to upgrade their fleets, helping make our streets much safer for people walking and cycling.”

According to TfL, while big lorries account for just 4% of the overall miles driven in the capital, between 2015-2017 HGVs were involved in 63% of fatal collisions involving cyclists.

Owners of vehicles rated zero-star will need to fit a ‘Safe System’ to reduce the risk the vehicle presents to people walking and cycling when enforcement begins.

Head of Transport Strategy and Planning, Christina Calderato, added: “Today we have reached a major milestone in a scheme that will save people’s lives and play a significant role in helping us achieve vision zero. Transforming the safety of HGVs will dramatically reduce road danger for people walking and cycling, helping us to ensure that everyone gets home safely every day.”

At the same time the DVS is brought into force next year, requirements for London’s emission zone will also be tightened so that HGVs across the capital are subject to tough ULEZ standards.

Hayley Everett

Multimedia Reporter

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