SENTINEL HELPING CUSTOMERS GET READY FOR DIRECT VISION REGULATIONS
Earlier this year it was announced that London mayor Sadiq Khan has committed to adopting Vision Zero for road danger in London. The mayor’s aim is for all deaths and serious injuries to be eliminated from London’s streets by 2041.
Consultation feedback has shaped the DVS (Direct Vision Standard) proposal to now include a HGV Safety Permit, meaning all HGVs over 12 tonnes entering or operating in Greater London will require a safety permit which will operate 24/7 and will be enforced on all roads within the Greater London Boundary from 26 October 2020.
Permits for the scheme will be free of charge and available from October 2019.
The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) assesses and rates how much a driver can see directly from their HGV cab and was created to improve the safety of all road users, particularly pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
With road safety and incidents becoming a big issue on London’s roads and the release of the HGV permit guidance to those across the industry, vehicle safety experts Sentinel Systems are raising awareness of the recommendations highlighted in the document and discussing what the company is doing to help its customers comply.
Research has shown that direct vision is the future in creating safer vehicles and safer urban environments. However, for direct vision to be implemented effectively a certain lead time is needed. To make this work, all lorries will be given a star rating of zero to five by TFL (Transport for London).
The star rating of a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) relates solely to how much a driver can see of other road users directly from their cab. However, a vehicle that does not meet the minimum star rating threshold (1 star in 2020) will still be able to operate in London provided it has the mitigating safe system features fitted. The safe system is a series of vehicle safety measures to address the current poor levels of direct vision in the existing HGV fleet and reduce the overall risk HGVs present to cyclists and pedestrians.
As specialists in the vehicle safety industry for more than 30 years, Sentinel Systems have reviewed the requirements for zero star rated vehicles and are advising customers of the importance of installing a sensor system to warn drivers of the presence of vulnerable road users, an audible vehicle manoeuvring warning and a fully operational camera monitoring system.
A fully operational camera monitoring system and a sensor system with driver alerts are both mandatory requirements to ensure blind spots are covered, whilst vehicles will be required to have a fully operational camera monitoring system on the nearside of the vehicle and comprehensive sensor system to warn drivers of anyone close to the vehicle.
The recommended specification for sensors advises that sensors on rigid vehicles should ensure coverage six metres down the nearside or one metre from the rear of the vehicle, whichever is smaller. Sensors should also not activate when near stationary vehicles or roadside furniture. It is also recommended that additional front sensors comply with coverage set out in the UNECE Regulation 46 Class VI mirror coverage zone.
When it comes to warning of intended manoeuvres, the TFL guidance recommends that vehicles should have a manual on/off switch for use between 11.30pm and 7am. Operators should also consider an audible warning system that combines warnings and white noise. The use of warning signage should also not be offensive and should not give instructional advice to the people walking and cycling. The text point size should be legible by a cyclist or pedestrian at a reasonable distance from the vehicle.
Whilst exemptions from certain sideguards within the safety scheme do apply to specific vehicle types, there are no exemptions when it comes to the fitment of a camera monitoring system, sensor system or left turn audible alarm on vehicles of more than 12 tonnes.
Sentinel Systems’ safety camera package can be customised to meet the individual requirements of each fleet, depending on the size and operations of each vehicle. The camera system can be created using any number of Sentinel’s systems, including forward, rear and side facing cameras for a 360° view of the vehicle’s surroundings.