Improving HGV safety on London’s roads – our commitment to Vision Zero

Since London’s Vision Zero Action Plan was introduced, we have been hard at work helping to enhance road safety. Working with Transport for London, road safety charities and fleet operators, we are fully committed to helping to eliminate deaths and injuries on London’s roads by 2041.

The action plan focuses on areas where the greatest challenges lie – London’s streets. Since 2005, the majority of collisions involving goods vehicles, buses and coaches has been located in Central London, where roads are busier and narrower, and where there is a higher presence of vulnerable road users, including pedestrians and cyclists.

Driving a HGV, bus or coach takes precision and skill. This is particularly the case when driving on busy and narrow streets or manoeuvring vehicles in tight spaces. Complex blind spots of large vehicles exacerbate the problem. Lack of driver visibility through the sides and rear of the vehicle, along with poor weather conditions and obstructions from bulkheads, all combine to create the threat of a collision with objects or people.

It is hoped that London’s Direct Vision Standard – part of London’s Vision Zero Action Plan – will help to solve the issue by requiring all vehicles weighing 12-tonnes or more to implement the Safe System if direct visibility from the driver’s cab does not meet the regulation’s minimum star rating.

The Safe System is a retrofit kit that includes a camera, in-cab monitor, proximity sensors, audible driver warning and real speech warning alarm to alert vulnerable road users and cyclists that they are in the driver’s blind spot. Vehicle safety systems like this will dramatically improve indirect vision from the driver’s seat and in turn enhance road safety for all.

Brigade is helping to streamline the Safe System for fleet operators by creating specially compiled DVS Safe System kits. These kits, which come in two different types (one for rigid vehicles and one for articulated vehicles), will comprise side cameras, ultrasonic sensors for the near side of the vehicle and a warning alarm which is activated when the vehicle is turning. Both kits are compliant with the Direct Vision Standard as well as all relevant regional laws across the EU, meaning fleet operators can be confident that the systems will meet all necessary legal requirements.

If you haven’t yet prepared for Direct Vision Standard, don’t delay. The legislation will be enforced from 26th October 2020 and any operators who do not comply with the regulations or are found without the necessary permit will face fines.

If you’re at all concerned about your fleet’s star ratings or you would like more information, please get in touch and we will be happy to help.