One year before London’s HGV Safety Permit Scheme strengthens, TfL is encouraging operators to prepare their fleets. Under the Direct Vision Standard, HGVs are given a rating between ‘zero-star’ (lowest) and ‘five-star’ (highest) – based on how much the driver can see directly through their cab windows.
Only vehicles with a valid safety permit – those rated ‘one-star’ and above – have been able to operate in London since March 2021. TfL says data shows that fatal collisions where vision is a contributing factor fell by 75% from 2018 to 2023, showing the importance of the scheme. The standards will tighten in October 2024, when the minimum star rating will be three-stars and above.
Vehicles failing to meet that standard will be required to fit the updated system of enhanced safety features – the Progressive Safe System (PSS) – in order to operate in Greater London. These focus on areas such as improving indirect vision through technologies such as cameras and sensors, as well as systems to warn vulnerable road users of intended manoeuvres.