TfL Star ratings
TfL releases interim Direct Vision Standard star ratings.
Transport for London has released interim direct vision star ratings for Euro VI HGVs as part of the development of its proposed Direct Vision Standard.
The DVS will be the first initiative of its kind to categorise HGVs based on the level of a driver's direct vision from a cab. HGVs will be given a rating between zero (lowest) and five (highest) stars, with only those vehicles rated three-star and above, or which have comprehensive safety systems, able to operate in London from 2024.
The development of the proposed Direct Vision Standard forms part of the Mayor of London and TfL's Vision Zero approach to reducing road danger.
The release of the interim ratings for individual models is intended to give confidence that vehicles being manufactured, purchased or leased can be compliant with both Ultra-Low Emission Zone requirements and the DVS. TfL says it will continue to work with manufacturers to ensure interim star ratings for other HGV models are released later this year.
The proposals now also include plans for an HGV safety permit scheme based on the DVS ratings, and industry-recognised safety systems, to reduce road danger. If approved, all HGVs over 12 tonnes will be required to hold a safety permit to enter or operate in London from 2020. Those rated 'one star' and above would automatically be granted a permit, while those rated at zero would have to include specific recognised safety systems, such as sensors, visual warnings and comprehensive driver training, before a permit was granted. The safety permit scheme would evolve over time, taking into account advances in technology.
The details of this 'safe system' will be included in an autumn consultation and, says TfL, the expertise of both industry experts and vulnerable road user representatives will continue to be an important part of developing the plans.
As well as developing the Direct Vision Standard and proposed safety permit scheme, TfL is also lobbying the European Commission for changes in international vehicle safety and design regulations to push for long-term improvements to future HGV fleets.
“Businesses across the capital need HGVs to operate,” Alex Williams, TfL's Director of City Planning, said, “however the number of deaths involving HGVs is unacceptable. We welcome the industry's feedback on our latest proposals for the Direct Vision Standard as we work together to improve vehicle safety.”