Leading politicians and road safety policy makers met with the Mayor of London to discuss the way to improve lorry safety throughout Europe.
Off the back of the capital’s Direct Vision Standard proposals, the European Commission is expected to follow suit to ensure that the most unsafe lorries are taken off the roads in the UK and mainland Europe.
From October, HGV Safety Permits will be issued in London which is part of the Direct Vision Standard; this scheme will see HGVs categorised depending on the level of direct vision that each driver has from their cab.
This is in response to the fact that blind spots have been identified as hugely significant in the number of collisions, resulting in injury and even worse.
A star rating will be provided through London’s scheme, with zero representing poor, all the way up to five for excellent, signifying how much a driver can see from their cab, and whether or not vulnerable road users are at particular risk.
Those ‘zero star’ HGVs will be banned from London’s roads from October 2020 as part of the drive towards lorry safety, unless they demonstrate that vehicle safety measures are in place that will improve HGV safety.
From 2024, only vehicles rated ‘three star’ and above, or those with comprehensive safety measures, will be able to operate in the capital.
The Mayor is therefore urging the EU to follow London’s lead; the European Commission will include direct vision in its General Safety Regulation (GSR), which is the leading piece of EU road safety legislation.
It now faces key votes in the European Parliament.
The difference is telling; statistics show that, if direct vision for trucks is included in road safety regulations, an estimated 550 lives could be saved each year.
Sadiq Khan said: “I’m delighted that the European Commission is following our lead and proposing to incorporate direct vision into its revised road safety regulations.
“This is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to reduce road danger, and would be a major step forward in making all HGVs safer across the UK and Europe, saving hundreds of lives every year.
“Brexit or no Brexit, it is vital that improved HGV safety standards are rolled out across Europe as road safety and supply chains don’t stop at London’s outskirts. It is simply too urgent for us to wait.”