Centrad Issues Rallying Call to Truck Operators Ahead of DVS Deadline

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With changes to the UK’s Transport for London (TfL’s) Direct Vision Standard set to go live later this year, leading vehicle CCTV and telematics providers CENTRAD has urged truck operators against delaying the adoption of the mandated Progressive Safe Systems until the last minute.

Currently, it is estimated that between 170,000 to 180,000 vehicles will need to be fitted with the latest DVS Safe Systems which comply with the incoming regulations between now and October 28th 2024.

However, according to Centrad Managing Director Geoff Cross, demand for both hardware and installation is going to inevitably succeed supply as the deadline edges closer, meaning that it is critical for operators to put in place a carefully thought-out transition process as soon as possible. Without such a plan in place, operators very much run the risk of their fleets being rendered non-compliant upon once the new regulations come into force.

Since the DVS was initially launched in 2019, the minimum DVS star rating for HGVs to operate in London has been one star. However, from October 28th this year, these requirements will be enhanced, and the minimum DVS rating required will be raised to three stars.

This means that under the new requirements, HGVs over 12 tonnes will be required to be fitted with Progressive Safe Systems (PSS) if they are rated two or below on the DVS star rating scale.

If operators are found to be in breach of TfL’s latest requirements, they run the risk of being liable for penalty charge notices of up to £550 for every day that they operate within Greater London without a compliant HGV safety permit.

Due to the significant number of vehicles requiring retrofitting, Geoff Cross believes even when factoring the limited grace period which is available for hauliers, that a backlog could prove problematic for potentially up to hundreds of operators this year.

In order to make the transition to the new regulations as seamless as possible, Geoff has also urged operators to be mindful about their choice of supplier, and to seek the advice of reputable providers that not only have prior experience in fitting DVS systems but also have a clear understanding of what solutions will be compliant with TfL’s latest PSS requirements.

Geoff commented: “Due to the sheer number of vehicles that require retrofitting in such a short time window, a backlog is unfortunately unavoidable. The lead time for booking a qualified installer is currently weeks in advance – longer if you opt for a weekend fitting slot – and this window will only get smaller as we approach the deadline. With the average fitting time also being around a day per two vehicles, there is quite clearly a significant disparity emerging.

“However, there is a relatively simple way to avoid this backlog and ensure the transition to the latest DVS changes can be as seamless as possible. Partnering with a reputable supplier who can implement a carefully thought-out DVS strategy is fundamentally the best avenue for operators to minimise disruption, reduce cost and ensure compliance.

“As shown during the last round of DVS there will be a predisposition among those within the industry that they have the luxury to leave fitting the relevant safety systems onto vehicles until the very last minute. Unfortunately, this will not be the case and will lead a host of issues, namely failing to secure a slot in time, along with several hidden hurdles which they will be forced to face such as increased cost.

Geoff continued: “While TfL has launched a readiness survey, for which the outcome is yet unclear, it is still vital that operators which run vehicles within Greater London ensure they get ahead of the curve by aligning themselves with a reputable supplier early and put in place a solid and sustainable transition plan. That way, cost and vehicle downtime can be kept to a minimum and upon deadline day on 28th October, operators can have the confidence that they will be totally compliant and won’t fall foul of the new requirements, and as a result incur recurrent and expensive fines.”