In recent years, road safety has become a top priority for governments and transportation authorities worldwide. The concept of “Vision Zero” has gained significant traction, advocating for a future where road accidents and fatalities are reduced to zero. In the United Kingdom, the implementation of the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) Safe System has been a significant step towards reducing accidents involving Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and vulnerable road users. However, the landscape is about to change with the introduction of the Progressive Safe System, which will come into effect in October 2024. But what is the difference between the current DVS Safe System and the Progressive Safe System? Let’s delve into this in detail.
An introduction to the Direct Vision Standard Safe System
The DVS Safe System was introduced in London in March 2021, making it mandatory for HGVs over 12 tonnes to meet specific safety requirements. It was designed to address the limited visibility experienced by drivers of such vehicles, especially concerning cyclists and pedestrians.
The Key Features of the DVS Safe System:
Star Rating Scheme:
Under DVS, HGVs are assigned star ratings based on their direct vision from the driver’s seat. A 0-star rating signifies limited visibility, while a 5-star rating indicates excellent visibility.
Safe System Components:
To achieve a minimum 1-star rating, vehicles must incorporate certain safety features such as Class V and Class VI mirrors, side under-run protection, camera monitoring systems to eliminate blind spots at the nearside of the vehicle and audible warning systems to warn vulnerable road users of the vehicle’s intended manoeuvre. TfL included additional safety ‘recommendations’ as part of their original guidance, but these were not mandatory for the initial HGV permit. These recommendations can be seen in the table further below in the article.
Vehicles not meeting the minimum standards are required to obtain a DVS permit to operate within the Greater London area. This permit indicates the vehicle’s star rating and safety features.
An introduction to the DVS Progressive Safe System:
The Progressive Safe System is an upgraded version of TfL’s current Direct Vision Standard Safe System. It builds upon the foundation of the DVS regulations and introduces several important changes to eliminate all remaining blind spots on the vehicle’s front and nearside, and to improve the driver’s indirect vision using AI technology.
The Key Features of the DVS Progressive Safe System:
Enhanced Safety Measures:
The Progressive Safe System goes beyond the DVS requirements by introducing additional safety features. It places greater emphasis on driver assistance systems, such as Blind Spot Information Systems and Moving Off Information Systems, and improved sensor technology to remove all false alerts from stationary vehicles and roadside furniture.
Stricter Star Ratings:
The new system introduces stricter star rating requirements. HGVs are now expected to achieve a higher minimum star rating of 3 to comply with the regulations.
The Progressive Safe System will also require new permits for vehicles that do not meet the minimum star rating at point of manufacture. These can start to be submitted from June 2024.
The 3 main differences between the DVS Safe System and the Progressive Safe System
The three main differences between the Safe System and the Progressive Safe System are:
- Blind spots at the front of the vehicle must now be eliminated.
- Sensors at the nearside of the vehicle must be able to intelligently detect the difference between VRUs and roadside street furniture.
- The technology must be able to predict collisions based on the trajectory of the vehicle and the VRUs.
The below table summarises the differences between the DVS Safe System and the Progressive Safe System:
|Safe System||Progressive Safe System|
|Camera Monitoring Systems||CMS should aim to eliminate the remaining vehicle blind spot at the near side.||CMS must eliminate the remaining vehicle blind spot at the near side.|
|Moving Off Information Systems||Recommended additional front sensors with coverage as defined by the UNECE Regulation 46 Class VI mirror coverage zone.||All vehicles must have a front sensor system that activates on a proximity information signal detecting pedestrians or cyclists in the vehicle’s frontal blind spot area. This sensor system must have a detection range of up to 2 metres, be reactive and not provide false alarms. It must also provide an additional signal when a collision becomes imminent.|
|Rigid Vehicle Sensors||Sensors should ensure full coverage down the nearside of the vehicle. They should not activate in relation to roadside furniture or stationary vehicles.||Sensors must ensure full coverage down the nearside of the vehicle with a range of two metres. They must not activate in relation to roadside furniture or stationary vehicles.|
|Articulated Vehicles and Semi-Trailer Sensors||Sensors should ensure full coverage of the nearside of the tractor unit. Semi-trailer sensors should be positioned to provide sufficient coverage but prevent activation solely on the articulation of the trailer.||Sensors must ensure full coverage of the nearside of the tractor unit and semi-trailer. They must be suitably positioned to provide sufficient coverage but prevent activation solely on the trailer’s articulation. Sensors must have a range of two metres of lateral coverage.|
In summary, the Progressive Safe System builds upon the foundation of the DVS Safe System, introducing stricter safety measures, and enhancing overall road safety. It acknowledges the importance of advanced technology in mitigating accidents involving HGVs and vulnerable road users.
As a fleet operator, it’s crucial to stay informed about these changes and ensure your vehicles comply with the new regulations. Not only will this help enhance road safety, but it will also ensure your business remains in compliance with evolving legal requirements.
The transition from the Direct Vision Standard to the Progressive Safe System reflects the commitment of the UK government to make its roads safer for all, and it’s a step in the right direction towards achieving that goal.
To find out more about the Direct Vision Standard 2024, take a look at AddSecure’s comprehensive guide on ‘Everything you need to know about the Direct Vision Standard’ here: https://www.addsecure.com/ebooks-whitepapers/direct-vision-standard/