Transport for London has issued more than 8,000 Heavy Goods Vehicle Safety Permits, as part of the Direct Vision Standard since it launched in October 2019.
Freight operators are required to obtain a free Safety Permit, which is needed to be compliant with TfL's world-leading scheme, before enforcement begins on 26 October.
Between 2015 and 2017, HGVs were disproportionately involved in fatal collisions, with 63% of those involving people cycling and 25% involving people walking. The first of its kind, the Direct Vision Standard tackles road danger at its source by minimising HGV blind spots which contribute to many tragic deaths and life-changing injuries.
Based on how much a driver can see directly through their cab windows, the unique star system rates HGVs over 12 tonnes from zero (lowest) to five (highest). HGVs will need to meet a minimum one-star rating by the time enforcement begins to enable them to operate in London or will need to fit Safe System measures to improve the vehicle's safety.
TfL believes the number of permits issued so far is encouraging. However, it estimates that there are around 250,000 HGVs entering London each year that will need to apply for a permit by the October deadline. Every HGV over 12 tonnes will require a permit and it is possible to apply for multiple vehicle permits in a single application, making it easier for operators with larger fleets. Almost 6,000 of the permits issued so far have been done through this process.
Operators are encouraged to apply for a free HGV Safety Permit now ahead of enforcement beginning on 26 October. Operators with vehicles rated zero star will need to allow extra time to apply for their permit as Safe System measures, including cameras and sensors, need to be installed and evidenced for a permit to be issued.
The Direct Vision Standard will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will be enforced within the Greater London Boundary. HGV operators that fail to meet the new minimum safety standards and obtain a permit will face a penalty charge of £550 a day.
“It's promising to see that so many operators have applied for permits and made their vehicles safer since our Safety Permit scheme went live three months ago, but we would strongly advise all operators who haven't yet applied to do so now,” Christina Calderato, Head of Transport Strategy & Planning at TfL, said.