London’s Direct Vision Standard: Benchmark for the rest of the world?

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London’s transport authority is taking drastic action to address truck safety on the capital’s roads. According to The Guardian, some 35,000 trucks currently operating in the city could be banned in 2020. But this is not just about London – the EU is currently planning new vehicle safety requirements for trucks, and cities all over the world are now adopting a ‘Vision Zero’ approach to traffic injuries. Finally, road safety is getting the recognition it deserves.
Anna Wrige Berling

Trucks in the city: a potential risk to pedestrians and cyclists

Sadly, trucks pose a disproportionate danger to pedestrians and cyclists, especially in urban areas. In London, trucks are involved in more than half of the city’s cycling fatalities, and more than a fifth of pedestrian deaths, despite making up only 4% of motor traffic.

As a result, Transport for London is proposing a Direct Vision Standard (DVS) that will require all trucks over 12 tonnes to have a safety permit to operate in the capital. Trucks will be assessed using a star rating system based on how much a driver can see directly through their cab windows. From October 2020, only one-star or more trucks will be permitted to enter the city. From 2024, trucks will need to have three stars.

Legislation paving the way for more advanced safety features

Significantly, the EU is set to follow London’s DVS for trucks and is even responding to advances in safety by proposing a series of mandatory accident prevention features for all vehicles, including warnings of driver distraction and tiredness, and intelligent speed assistance. In New York City, the authorities are transitioning their service and maintenance trucks to designs with lower cabs and minimal blind spots.

For me, it’s really positive to see road safety legislation becoming tougher. However in order to reach Vision Zero, the ultimate goal of zero fatalities and serious injuries on our roads, we must strive to ensure that such legislation is also harmonized across different countries and cities.

In order to help you prepare for the implementation of London’s Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and see how such direct-vision schemes may come to impact other markets, I have prepared a short guide to the legislation.

This guide will help you:

  • Get an overview of what London’s Direct Vision Standard (DVS) is and how it works.
  • Understand how to comply with the new standard.
  • Prepare your business for how direct-vision measures, including legislation underway in the EU, may affect what trucks will be permitted in city centers

Learn more about trucks and safety in city areas

Anna Wrige Berling

Anna Wrige Berling works as Traffic and Product Safety Director at Volvo Trucks.

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