Did you know that HGVs are about to be banned from driving in London? In fact, the way London handles HGVs are about to change very soon – it is not a small change such as an emission fee hike – but a big decision to ban HGVs from entering London altogether. This comes in the wake of the implementation of the new “Direct Vision Standard Rules” – that is going to be finally implemented after a long debate in the logistics industry. What does the “Direct Vision Standard Rules” really mean for an HGV driver?

What Are The New Rules For?

In fact, Direct Vision is a new standard designed for the transportation sector in London. This scheme has the full support of the London Mayor Sadiq Khan – which aims to control the HGV movement on a certain geographical area with the sole purpose of increasing safety. The idea for the scheme was born due to the disturbing facts that 70% of cyclist and more than 20% of pedestrian fatalities in London are due to HGVs. Researchers found out that lack of visibility is the main cause of these fatalities. Also, the nature of London’s roads plays an important part in these fatalities. Hence, the Direct Vision Standard is implemented to assess how much of the load the drive could see directly from the cab windows without the use of side mirrors and cameras. The scheme has a rating system that starts at zero stars (lowest) and 5 stars being the highest. Any HGV that scores low will be banned from driving on London’s roads.

How Are The HGVs Rated?

  • The general visibility is assessed while the driver sits inside the cab.
  • The visibility of the driver will be assessed in 4 key risk areas – such as the 4 areas that have proven the greatest risk through detailed data analysis.
  • The Measurement of Collision Data Distance – this measurement is based on how much of an individual should be seen in order for the driver to take appropriate action and avoid the collision.
  • The technical measurements are used to calculate the total volume of the area that has the greatest risk – which can be seen by the driver.

Once these tests are conducted, each vehicle is given a star rating from 0-5 stars. The highest rating is 5 where the driver can see the area around him/her properly – including the areas of greatest risk. Five is the highest rating where most vehicles that receive this rating will have features such as remodelled cabs – that have been designed to significantly increase visibility.

Many HGV companies welcome this new standard and Tom McGhie from HGV jobs provider Easy as HGV, believes that by helping everyone ensure they are using, contracting or buying lorries with high levels of driver direct vision, we will increase the demand and supply of such vehicles to the point where these safer trucks are the main lorry of choice in the Capital, other cities and around the world.”

What Is The Implementation Date?

Like all other regulations, this won’t immediately affect your HGV. There is an implementation phase where it gives manufacturers time to update their vehicles or purchase new cabs with a higher visibility range. An HGV that has a rating of three or lower is to be banned from driving on the roads of London from 2024. There is an exception to this rule and that is for vehicles with a comprehensive safety system in place.

The main purpose of this new rule is to reduce the accidents and fatality rates on London’s roads – which helps create a safer place for pedestrians and motorists alike. In fact, haulage companies are under tremendous pressure to achieve the highest star rating for their vehicles under these new rules. If they don’t update their vehicles, they will lose business to the competition who have upgraded their vehicles to suit the new regulations. But many elements of the scheme are still in consultation. There are also talks to implement an interim star rating system that will help prepare businesses for the new regulations.