‘Vision Zero’ – London Transport Network made safer

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‘Vision Zero’ – London Transport Network made safer

As part of the Mayor Of London’s transport strategy, Sadiq Khan created ‘Vision Zero’ in an effort to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries, improve driver behaviour and create safer streets on London’s transport network by 2041. In order to reach this goal, the Direction Vision Standard (DVS) has been developed by Transport for London (TFL) with the aim to reduce heavy goods vehicle (HGV) related incidents involving cyclists and pedestrians due to poor visibility.

What is the DVS?

The DVS is a rating system that measures how much a driver of a HGV can see directly through their cab windows. The level of visibility is rated from zero to five stars, with zero representing the lowest level of visibility and five stars the highest. The DVS assessment takes into account factors such as the size and shape of the vehicle, position of the driver’s cab and the design of the windows and mirrors.

Does the DVS apply to my vehicle?

The DVS enforces that heavy good vehicles over 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight must obtain a safety permit before entering and operating in most of Greater London. If you fail to obtain or breach your permit, you may be issued a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

Changes from 28 October 2024

Currently, vehicles are required to meet the minimum one-star DVS rating. From 28 October 2024, heavy good vehicles over 12 tonnes will be required to have a three-star rating.

If your vehicle has a three-star rating or above, you will not be required to fit additional safety enhancements from 28 October 2024.

The Progressive Safe System

The Progressive Safe System is an enhancement to the current Safe System and sees the introduction of new and updated safety equipment, such as Camera Monitoring Systems.

Since October 2020, vehicles with a zero-star rating (indicating poor direct vision) must fit a Safe System to apply for a HGV safety permit. From 28 October 2024, vehicles with a zero one or two-star rating will be required to fit the new Progressive Safe System.

You can apply for a new Progressive Safe System through TFL’s website from June 2024.

How do I find out if the current DVS Safe System on my vehicle is compliant with the new DVS Progressive Safe System?

The installers of the relevant Safe System should provide details of the specifications and functionality of the kit they have fitted on the vehicle. In circumstances where you do not have the details, clarification is being sought from TFL on what you are able to do.

What happens if I cannot get the new Progressive Safe System installed on my vehicle before 28 October 2024?

TFL have promised a “grace period” of 3 months to allow operators additional time to fit a Progressive Safe System compliant kit if it is not possible to install it before 28 October 2024. The fine detail of how this will work is not yet known. However, it is likely that an operator must be able to show that they have booked an installation slot before TFL will grant an exemption under the grace period.

Is there any funding for ensuring DVS compliance?

TFL do not currently offer any funding to ensure your vehicle is DVS compliant. However, it is important to note that if your vehicle is not compliant, you could be subject to a penalty charge of £550 per day.

What evidence of compliance is required?

For applications regarding vehicles rated zero, one or two stars, or where your vehicle is unrated, you will be required to submit visual evidence, including two photographs that show the Progressive Safe System has been fitted to your vehicle. The current guidance from TFL is that you will also be required to submit a statement self-certifying that all sensors have been fitted in accordance with their technical specifications and are in functional working order.

Looking ahead

The Direct Vision Standard marks a significant step towards making London’s street safer for everyone. It would not be surprising if other larger cities in England and Wales implemented these changes in the future. There are rumours that Manchester might be a city to follow suit in due course.

Despite TFL offering a significant amount of guidance on the new changes to the DVS, there are still may unanswered questions which operators will be seeking clarification on. If you require any advice in relation to ensuring compliance with the DVS or to appeal a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Commercial Road Transport team.

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