Whistl has placed an order with Connexas to ensure that its fleet of 30 Bedford-based vehicles which serve London are compliant with the Transport for London (TfL) Direct Vision Standard.
The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) has been developed by TfL with the aim to reduce HGV-related incidents involving people walking and cycling.
It employs a star rating system which will grant safety permits to vehicles depending on the driver’s direct view through the windows of their cab.
Amendments to the delivery fleet include in-cab monitoring, blind spot sensors, reverse cameras and offside cameras.
Gareth Hughes, procurement, property and fleet director, said: “Our investment now will enable us to be compliant early with the new legislation and ensures that we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our drivers alongside cyclists and pedestrians with whom we share the roads in London.”
Anyone driving an HGV within Greater London without a valid HGV safety permit will face a penalty charge notice of up to £550.
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 was to give the freight industry more time to prepare and recognised 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.
Connexas CEO Andrew Overton, said: “As a modular fleet management solution, the Isotrak platform not only elevates the safety and efficiency of fleets but when paired with our cameras and sensors ensures companies are compliant with Transport for London’s new rules.
“We are happy to be working with Whistl on this project to improve their vehicle’s overall safety and meet the DVS requirements.”
A recent survey suggested that less than one in four fleet managers are ready for the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and HGV Permit Scheme.
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.
Christina Calderato, TfL's head of transport strategy and planning, said: "HGV blind spots have been proven to be the cause of many pedestrian and cyclist deaths and serious injuries, which is why these new rules are so vital.
“The Direct Vision Standard is a core part of our Vision Zero commitment to tackle the number of people being killed and seriously injured on London's roads and we are working closely with the logistics industry to ensure they are supported in bringing in these necessary changes.
“We’re calling on all operators to follow Whistl’s lead and ensure their fleets are ready for these new rules.”
The retrofitting of the 30 Renault T Series articulated tractor units will take place by early November 2020.