TfL, working with the London boroughs, has delivered a ‘radical’ improvement to road safety in the capital with the introduction of the Direct Vision Standard (DVS).
The DVS forms part of the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate all death and serious injuries from London’s streets by 2041. While big lorries accounted for just 3% of the overall miles driven in London 2018-20, they were involved in 41% of fatal collisions involving people cycling and 19% involving people walking.
This means that HGVs are five times more likely to be involved in a collision resulting in a fatality, relative to their share of traffic. Provisional data shows that in the first two months of 2021 alone, three people walking and cycling in London have already been killed by HGVs.
Meanwhile, a tighter Low Emission Zone (LEZ) standard has also come into force to coincide with the DVS. Heavy vehicles including lorries, buses, coaches and specialist vehicles now need to meet Euro VI (NOx and PM) emissions standards or pay a daily charge to drive within the Greater London area.
Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said: “I’m really proud that London is leading the way and our world-first Direct Vision Standard is now in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week across all the roads in our city. This will save lives and improve road safety from day one by reducing lethal HGV blindspots, with more than 30,000 lorries fitted with vehicle safety measures ahead of enforcement beginning.
“More Londoners are walking and cycling than ever before and by taking this bold action we are doing all we can to protect them. It is a major step forward in the Mayor’s Vision Zero plan to eradicate all deaths and injuries from our roads, and is also set to transform road safety across Europe in the coming years.”
Christina Calderato, head of transport planning for TfL, added: “We know that the Direct Vision Standard will protect all Londoners who walk and cycle by ensuring that the most dangerous vehicles on our streets have effective safety measures. This will prevent needless death and injury on our roads – there will be people alive by the end of this year who wouldn’t have been if we hadn’t taken this bold and necessary action.
“We are immensely proud that our Direct Vision Standard – a world-first for lorry safety – will not only save lives in London, but in the UK and all over Europe as operators upgrade their entire fleets, sometimes upgrading hundreds of vehicles. This vital step is core to our Vision Zero plan to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on London’s roads.”