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TRANSPORT for London (TfL) has published new research which proves that having direct vision from the cab of a lorry, rather than relying on mirrors and monitors, has a substantial impact on improving road safety for pedestrians and cyclists. 

The findings have been published as TfL launches the first consultation into the use of its world-first ‘zero to five star’ Direct Vision Standard for HGVs operating in the capital. The 12-week consultation runs until 18 April and aims to identify how the new standard can be best used to reduce road casualties on London’s roads.

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• Direct Vision Standard consultation

Under the mayor’s plans, the most dangerous HGVs will be banned from London’s streets entirely by January 2020. These HGVs, often ‘off-road’ lorries, would be ‘zero-star rated’ by the Direct Vision Standard – determined by the level of vision the driver has directly from the cab. By setting out their plans now, TfL expect many dangerous lorries will be upgraded before the restriction on HGVs comes into place in 2020.

Recent data shows that HGVs were involved in 22.5 per cent of pedestrian fatalities and 58 per cent of cyclist fatalities on London’s roads in 2014 and 2015, despite only making four per cent of the miles driven in the capital.

As part of the new research, a simulator was used to replicate a real-life driving situation for the first time. It showed that the amount of direct vision a driver has could be a crucial factor in allowing a dangerous collision to be avoided. The study showed that drivers respond, on average, 0.7 seconds slower when checking blind spots and monitors compared to directly through the windows. This delay can result in a lorry travelling an extra 1.5 metres before seeing a nearby road user, enough to cause death or serious injury.

London mayor, Sadiq Khan, said:

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• Sadiq Khan

This new research being released today shows how important it is we take bold action to address dangerous and poorly designed lorries operating in the capital. HGVs with poor vision of cyclists, pedestrians and other road users from their cabin should simply not be allowed on London’s roads. Every time someone is killed by a lorry on London’s roads it is an appalling tragedy.

Our ground-breaking Direct Vision Standard will be the first of its kind in the world and TfL will lead by example by not using any Zero-Star lorries in its future supply chain.

By continuing to work closely with industry, and beginning our first consultation now, we’re confident that many of the most dangerous lorries on London’s roads will be upgraded before our ban comes into place.

Click here to find and more about the consultation and to complete a short online survey.

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