Many people may not realize that the way HGVs work in London is about to change. This is not a small change such as a hike in the emission fees, but a change that could result in HGVs being banned from driving in the capital city. This is directly related to the new direct vision regulations which have now been implemented following a year of logistical decisions and debates. It is important that you consider what this could mean for you.
What Is The Direct Vision Standard For?
Direct Vision is the new standard that has been created by Transport for London and has the complete support of the mayor
. The standard is one of the very few motoring regulations which are directed at HGVs in a set geographical location with the aim being to increase safety. The basis for the rule is that 20% of pedestrian fatalities and 70% of cyclist fatalities in London involve an HGV.
When this was researched further, it was found that the main reason for the fatalities was a lack of visibility. This was a combination of visibility in HGV cabs and the structure of the London road system. This led to the Direct Vision standard being devised to assess how much of the road and key risk points a driver will be able to see from their cab without the use or cameras and mirrors. The rating system for this will work with 0 stars being the lowest and 5 stars being the highest and any HGV that scores too low will be banned from driving in London.
How Are HGVs Rated?
The assessment starts with a general visibility assessment when sitting in the cab. There is also a specific assessment of vision in four risk areas which are the ones that research has proven to be the greatest risk. This will be followed by a measurement of the collision data distance which is based on how much of a person the driver needs to see to take action to avoid a collision.
The last step is a defined technical measurement which is taken and used to calculate the total volume of the weighted area of the greatest risk that is visible to the driver. Once all of these tests have been completed, the vehicle will be awarded a star rating. The higher the rate, the more the driver is able to see with 5 stars being the best possible rating. Most of the vehicles that have this rating will have remodeled cabs or low-entry cabs which are designed for greater visibility.
What Is The Implementation Date?
As with all regulations, this will not hit HGV drivers immediately. There is an implementation period in place which provides manufacturers and haulage companies time to update their plans and buy a new fleet of high visibility vehicles. The set date for the standard is 2024 when all HGVs with a rating of 3 or below will be banned from driving in London. The only exception to this rule will be vehicles that have comprehensive and significant safety systems in place.
The idea behind the new standard is to reduce the number of fatalities and accidents on London’s roads. This will create a safer space for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Under the new standards, haulage companies will be under pressure to achieve the highest possible star rating for their fleets because they risk losing business to their competition if they cannot drive in London. And there is debate about whether these regulations will spread out to other areas like Hampshire and the Home Counties.
Of course, it is important to note that there are a number of elements of the rules that are still in consultation. There are also talks about an interim rating system which will help build up to the real thing or having a safe HGV permit which will allow drivers to prove their ratings. If you need to find out more about the new code or if your HGV is up to the code, you should get in touch with the local council or a reputable company.