London to Introduce Stricter Safety Regulations for HGVs in 2024
In a significant move aimed at enhancing road safety, Transport for London (TfL) has announced that Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) weighing over 12 tonnes will face new safety regulations from October 2024.
London Council’s Transport and Environment Committee at the Helm
The decision, made by London Council’s Transport and Environment Committee, mandates that these HGVs must either possess a minimum three-star Direct Vision Standard (DVS) rating or install an upgraded safety system known as the Progressive Safe System (PSS) to operate in Greater London.
Under the revised regulations, a three-month grace period will be provided for operators to comply with the updated safety requirements, with a review scheduled for June 2024 to assess the need for any further extension. The move is aligned with the broader objective of Vision Zero, striving to eliminate road deaths in the capital.
Existing Rules Will No Longer Comply
The existing HGV safety permit scheme, established in 2019, requires operators of HGVs exceeding 12 tonnes to obtain a safety permit for London operation, irrespective of their DVS star rating. The DVS star rating is determined based on the driver's visibility through the vehicle's cab windows, focusing on areas where collisions are most likely to occur.
Fatal collisions attributed to vision-related factors have seen a notable reduction from 2018 to 2021, decreasing from 12 to 6. Provisional data for 2023 suggests a continued decline, further emphasising the positive impact of the HGV safety permit scheme in curbing road dangers and aligning with the Vision Zero goal.
Over 253,745 Permits Issued
Since its initiation, the safety permit scheme has issued over 253,745 permits, including nearly 6,000 five-star vehicles providing optimal direct vision. More than 151,000 zero-star HGVs have incorporated safe systems. The high compliance rate, with over 94% of HGVs in London operating with a safety permit, reflects the industry's commitment to road safety.
The updated Progressive Safe System includes various enhancements, such as updated guidance on mirrors and Camera Monitoring Systems, mandatory sensors for trailers of articulated vehicles, and Moving Off Information Systems (MOIS) to prevent frontal blind spot collisions. The implementation plan also involves audio warnings for all vehicles, irrespective of left-hand or right-hand drive.
A TfL Collaboration
TfL will collaborate with the industry to monitor readiness for PSS measures and assess whether an extension to the grace period is necessary in June 2024. Operators of existing zero, one, and two-star vehicles must register with TfL and demonstrate evidence of appointments for PSS equipment installation before January 31, 2025.
This safety-focused initiative underscores the commitment to making London roads safer for all, aligning with the broader goals of Vision Zero and the government's push for more stringent safety regulations.