The enforcement of an initiative to protect vulnerable road users in London from the ‘most dangerous’ heavy goods vehicles has been postponed until February 2021, TfL has confirmed.
The postponement of the Direct Vision Standard is designed to allow the freight industry to focus on its core operations during the coronavirus pandemic – as opposed to the new, stricter safety rules.
First announced in 2016, the Direct Vision Standard aims to tackle road danger at its source by minimising blind spots on HGVs.
Under the standard, HGVs will be categorised depending on the level of a driver’s direct vision from a cab – and will be given a rating between ‘zero-star’ (lowest) and ‘five-star’ (highest).
Only vehicles rated ‘one-star’ and above will be able to operate in London from October 2020. Anyone driving an HGV without a valid safety permit could receive a penalty charge notice of up to £550.
Although the new rules will still legally come into force on 26 October, TfL says no charges will be payable or enforced for non-compliant vehicles until the end of February 2021.
Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, said: “Coronavirus has disrupted supply chains and placed additional demands on the freight industry, making it more difficult for new standards to be met on time.
“To help ease pressure on the sector I’ve asked TfL to delay the enforcement of the new stricter rules, initially for four months, to allow the freight industry to focus on its core operations during the pandemic.
“People should not be travelling, by any means, unless they really have to. London’s roads should only be used for essential journeys. I continue to urge all Londoners to follow the advice of public health authorities and not leave their homes unless it is absolutely essential to save lives.”