Less than one in four fleet managers say they are ready for the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and HGV Permit Scheme, a survey suggests.
The new scheme will require all HGVs over 12 tonnes GVW to hold a valid permit to operate in or enter the Greater London area.
The Direct Vision Standard introduces a permit system for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) over 12 tonnes GVW, assigning vehicles a star rating based on how much the driver can see directly through their cab window.
Anyone driving an HGV within Greater London without a valid HGV safety permit will face a penalty charge notice of up to £550.
The survey, commissioned by CameraMatics, heard from more than 700 HGV fleet managers who have HGVs entering or operating in the Greater London area. Responses were categorised by whether the fleet is based in the Greater London area, or elsewhere.
Of Greater London-based respondents, only 22.2% told CameraMatics that ‘Yes, my HGVs are ready’, while 14.7% said some of their vehicles were ready and 26.9% were unsure.
However, more than a third (36.9%) reported that none of their HGVs are ready for the scheme.
Interestingly, responses of non-London based HGV fleet managers were split along the same lines. An even smaller percentage, at only 20.1% told CameraMatics that their HGVs are ready, with 12.7% saying some of their vehicles are ready and 28% were unsure.
Again, the highest proportion of responses, 39.1%, said none of their HGVs are ready for DVS.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced in April 2020 that enforcement of DVS would be postponed postponed until at least the end of February 2021.
This is to give the freight industry more time to prepare and recognises the additional pressures on the sector owing to the coronavirus outbreak.
But, although enforcement is delayed and vehicles will not be fined until March 1, 2021, the new legislation will be in place as planned from October 26, 2020.
CameraMatics technical director Steve Warne said: “It is concerning that so few HGV fleet managers are reporting their vehicles are ready for the Direct Vision Standard and HGV Permit Scheme.
“Some operators will find their vehicles are already compliant and simply need to apply online for their permit, but others will be given a zero-star rating.
“In this instance, a Safe System will need to be retrofitted to each vehicle so the operator can apply for, and receive, a permit.”
He continued: “I would urge companies not to leave this until the last minute. March 2021 and enforcement of the new rules will be here before we know it and the run-up to the festive season is always a busy time for the freight and logistics industry.
“Our advice to fleet managers who are unsure or concerned would be to get the ball rolling now.”
Freight operators can apply for an HGV Safety Permit on the TfL website at tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/dvs-safety-permit-application/.