Transport for London (TfL) has published updated guidance and technical standards for the freight industry ahead of the upcoming changes to London’s pioneering Direct Vision Standard (DVS) based HGV safety permit scheme. As per TfL’s commitment, from 28 October 2024, HGVs over 12 tonnes will be required to have a minimum three-star DVS rating or fit enhanced safety features – the Progressive Safe System (PSS) – to the vehicle in order to operate in Greater London.
TfL has produced an updated DVS Guide for Operators to fully reflect the enhanced Direct Vision Standard requirements and the new PSS that will replace the existing Safe System from October 2024. The changes to the scheme aim to further enhance the safety standards of HGVs operating in the capital, reducing the risks to vulnerable road users such as people walking and cycling. Data shows that fatal collisions where vision is a contributing factor have fallen by 75 percent from 2018 to 2023 (from 12 to 3). This shows the importance of the HGV safety permit scheme in reducing road danger in London and achieving the Mayor’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating all deaths and serious injuries from London’s transport network by 2041.
The guidance provides an overview of the HGV safety permit scheme and sets out the vehicle requirements needed to get a permit. It explains TfL’s policies for the DVS and how these should be applied in practice, and provides details of how the HGV Safety Permit Scheme has changed, clarifying how the PSS is an enhancement of the existing Safe System.
As part of this, TfL has also published detailed standards for how the PSS should be installed to help operators and fitters understand the new requirements, and to help begin the process of fitting the PSS to HGVs. This includes detailed technical specifications for the two sensor components that need to be fitted (blind spot and moving off information systems). The guidance also clarifies what information operators will need to provide to TfL when applying for a safety permit, to demonstrate compliance with the PSS.
The new guidance replaces TfL’s HGV safety permits guidance published in 2019 and can be found here: tfl.gov.uk/info-for/deliveries-in-london/delivering-safely/direct-vision-in-heavy-goods-vehicles
TfL will continue to work with the industry and monitor hauliers’ readiness to fit PSS measures ahead of October 2024. In order to give the freight industry sufficient time to buy, fit and test any new safety equipment, there will be a three-month grace period from 28 October 2024 until 31 January 2025 for operators to comply with the new PSS. To be eligible for the grace period, operators of existing zero, one and two star rated vehicles will need to register their eligible vehicle(s) with TfL and provide evidence showing they have an appointment with a fitter to install the PSS equipment before 31 January 2025.
Commenting on the new regulations, Christina Calderato, TfL’s Director of Transport Strategy and Policy, said: “Since we introduced London’s pioneering Direct Vision Standard, we have seen a dramatic reduction in fatal collisions where vision is a contributing factor in the capital. However, there is much more we need to do achieve our goal of eradicating deaths and serious injuries from London’s transport network. We will continue to take every possible measure to do so and our updated guidance and standards for the DVS scheme is a key part of that.”