Truckers told to get a permit or get a £550 fine

Thousands  of HGV operators are being warned that they face £550-a-day fines if they fail to take part in London’s Direct Vision Standard scheme.

The scheme, which comes into effect on October 2020, is designed to help to reduce road deaths in the nation’s capital.

Operators have until October 26th to obtain a free “direct vision standard” permit for their lorry, which gives it a “star rating” based on its safety features and measures to reduces blind spots.

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The scheme, for vehicles weighing 12 tonnes and above, opened for registrations last October. Transport for London revealed yesterday that more than 8,000 safety permits have been issued – a fraction of the 250,000 HGVs that enter the capital each year.

The star system rates HGVs from zero to five. They need to have a minimum one-star rating to operate in London.

Those vehicles rated zero stars must fir new measures, such as cameras and sensors, before a permit will be issued.

About 500 lorries have already been upgraded in this way.

Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, told London’s Evening Standard that the scheme “tackles the issue at its source: by encouraging a switch to safer vehicles.

He added: “The initial response from freight businesses has been encouraging. But we urge more HGV owners to sign up to the scheme ahead of enforcement beginning to help us eradicate deaths from our roads.

Commenting, RHA MD for policy Rod McKenzie said: “Road safety is of paramount importance to all road users. However, TFL’s data – 2015-2017 – is out of date, misleading, does not reflect the measures that truckers are taking to reduce accidents and paints a poor picture of the current situation.

“The figures for 2015/17 state that lorries are disproportionately involved in fatal collisions, including 63% of cyclist deaths and 25% of pedestrian road deaths.

“The figures for 2018/19 show a clear 19% reduction in cyclist deaths to 44% and a reduction in pedestrian deaths of 13% to 12%. This is a clear indication that hauliers are taking their responsibility to other road users extremely  seriously. But improved road safety and the corresponding reduction in road deaths is not the sole responsibility of the haulage industry. All road users, truckers, motorists, cyclists and passenger transport vehicles must acknowledge each other’s strength and limitations and act accordingly.