There remain more than 100,000 HGVs on London’s roads, whose operators have not yet applied for a Direct Vision Standard (DVS) permit, data from Transport for London (TfL) shows.
The remaining applications fall into the two-star category (11%), three-star category (11%), five-star category (6%) and less than 1% for the four-star category.
TfL says it has sent over 150,000 letters to the registered keepers of HGVs without Direct Vision Standard permits observed in Greater London advising of the DVS Scheme and urges operators to apply for permits ahead of the upcoming deadline – including allowing for 28 days for permit applications to be processed.
Alina Tuerk, strategy and planning manager at Transport for London (TfL), spoke at this year’s Virtual Fleet And Mobility Live in a seminar on, ‘How the Direct Vision Standard will affect your fleet‘.
DVS is set to reduce lethal blind spots in HGVs of more than 12 tonnes, by introducing a permit system, assigning vehicles a star rating based on how much the driver can see directly through their cab window.
From March 1, 2021, HGVs with a zero-star rating will be required to fit additional vehicle safety features to operate within London.
Vehicles with a one-star rating will allowed to enter London, however, by 2024, a minimum of three stars will be required.
Companies including Tideway, Cemex and Tarmac have invested in five-star category vehicles, says TfL.
Whistl placed an order with Connexas to ensure that its fleet of 30 Bedford-based vehicles which serve London are compliant with the standard.
Tuerk said: “The permit application portal has been open for the last year and it’s good to see that operators are getting their fleets ready and are applying for permits.”
DVS enforcement was delayed until March 1, next year to allow for the industry to restart when lockdown measures were introduced due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Alina Tuerk, strategy planning manager at TfL, said there are currently no plans to tighten the criteria beyond 2024.
Tuerk said: “It’s important to keep an eye on where international regulation goes, so another question is whether we will fall in line with that vehicle regulation in future or not.
“Our ideal outcome would be that as schemes get introduced at national and an international level, those schemes eventually converge with the London base scheme so that we won’t need our own scheme anymore.
“I don’t want to rule out anything we might do with scheme in future after 2024, but if there are plans to tighten it further, it would go through the usual project development, engagement and consultation process and there would be plenty of engagement and plenty of notice.”
Fleet operators can apply for a free Direct Vision Standard safety permit on the Transport for London (TfL) website: https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/deliveries-in-london/delivering-safely/direct-vision-in-heavy-goods-vehicles
What is the Direct Vision Standard (DVS)?
The Direct Vision Standard measures how much an HGV driver can see directly through their cab windows. This indicates the level of risk to vulnerable road users, such as people walking and cycling, near the vehicle.
The Direct Vision Standard and HGV safety permit for HGVs is part of the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London’s transport network by 2041.
HGV safety permit and requirements
All lorries over 12 tonnes (GVW) entering or operating in Greater London will need to hold a valid HGV safety permit.
The HGV safety permit scheme covers Greater London and will be in operation 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Applying is free of charge.
DVS star rating and Safe System
HGV operators need to apply for a permit for their vehicles. They will be granted a permit if the vehicle meets the minimum DVS star rating.
If the vehicle does not meet the minimum DVS star rating, it will need to be made safer safer by fitting it with Safe System improvements.
Enforcement and penalties
Once enforcement starts, if an HGV is driven within Greater London without a valid permit the operator may receive a penalty charge notice (PCN) of up to £550 (reduced to £275 if paid within 14 days).