TfL steps up preparations for strengthening HGV safety scheme

Three HGVs in front of the London skyline

With one year to go until 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.

Christina Calderato, TfL’s director of transport strategy and policy, said: ”We are determined to make roads safer for everyone and are committed to Vision Zero, the mayor’s goal to eliminate death and serious injury from the transport network. 

“It’s vital that all vehicles using London’s roads have safety at the forefront of their design and our world-first Direct Vision Standard has helped to significantly improve lorry safety, reducing fatal collisions where vision is a contributing factor by three quarters between 2018 and 2023. 

“With one year to go until we enhance the DVS HGV Permit Scheme, we are now encouraging operators to prepare their fleets so that we can take this important next step in making our streets safer for everyone.” 

03 November 2023