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Mayor of London launches HGV safety scheme with Cemex

4 November 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

Sadiq Khan at Cemex's Stepney plant

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan chose Cemex’s concrete plant in Stepney to launch a new safety scheme that will remove the most dangerous heavy goods vehicles form the streets of London.

All of the vehicles that Cemex operates in London meet or exceed the minimum requirements set out under the new Direct Vision Standard (DVS) until 2024.

The DVS seeks to minimise HGV blind spots. Based on how much a driver can see directly through their cab windows, the 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. A ‘Safe System’ will include a camera monitoring system, a noise alert when turning left and sensors.

The move came on the back of figures showing that big lorries are disproportionately involved in fatal collisions. Whilst they account for just 4% of the overall miles driven in the capital, between 2015 and 2017, HGVs were involved in 63% of fatal collisions involving cyclists and 25% cent involving pedestrians.

From this week, operators can apply for an HGV Safety Permit ahead of enforcement beginning on 26 October 2020.

Fines for non compliance

HGV operators who fail to meet the new minimum safety standards and obtain a permit face a fine. Permits will be electronic and enforced by Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, and non-compliant HGVs will be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice of £550 per day, which will be reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days

The DVS will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will be enforced within the Greater London Boundary.

At the same time as the Direct Vision Standard is brought into force, requirements for the London-wide Low Emission Zone will be tightened so that heavy vehicles across the capital are subject to the tough Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) standards.

Khan said: “I’m proud of our world-leading plans to remove the most dangerous lorries from London’s streets. So many of the tragic deaths on our roads involve HGVs and this new scheme will help save lives.

“Forward-looking businesses have already been choosing safer vehicles in the run up to HGV safety permits becoming available. Today the scheme has gone live and operators now have 12 months to upgrade their fleets, helping make our streets much safer for people walking and cycling.”

David Hart, Cemex’s supply chain director for UK, said: “We were honoured to welcome Sadiq Khan and the TfL team to our Stepney site today, as the Direct Vision Standard is launched. DVS is a landmark scheme that will ensure that all road users and pedestrians are safe as they come across HGVs while moving around the city.”

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