A big milestone on the journey to safer roads in London has been the development of the Direct Vision Standard (DVS). Now, the proposed implementation of Progressive Safe Systems (PSS), dedicated to reducing the risk Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) pose to cyclists and pedestrians, is on the horizon.
At the heart of TfL's ambitious ‘Vision Zero’ strategy, which aims to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London's streets by 2041, the PSS is expected to revolutionise road safety.
Scheduled for October 2024, all HGVs rated two stars or lower under the DVS scheme will need to implement the PSS. That's a whopping 90% of the current HGV fleet operating in the city, totaling around 165,000 vehicles.
But what exactly will the PSS involve? Let's dive into it and answer some of the questions fleet operators are asking.
The proposed PSS will significantly augment the existing Safe System measures. The current DVS Safe System, developed in 2018, includes mirrors, cameras, sensors, signage, warning signals, and side guards as supplementary safety measures for zero-rated vehicles. The PSS, however, expands this list to include advanced technologies and equipment that have since emerged on the market.
For further details of the consultation process that TfL has now finished, click here.
The new PSS provisions include technological advancements such as Camera & Monitor Systems (CMS), Object Detection / Moving Off-Systems (MOIS), Ultra-Sonic/Radar Sensors, and Warning Alarms. Not to forget the physical measures such as Sideguards and Under-run Protection. Each measure contributes to creating a safer environment for vulnerable road users and decreases the chances of accidents involving HGVs.
Advanced CMS are set to play a pivotal role in the PSS. Strategically placed around the vehicle, these cameras aim to eradicate blind spots and provide drivers with comprehensive, real-time views of their surroundings. Monitor displays installed within the cab then show these high-quality visuals, with some systems even offering split-screen functionality for simultaneous multi-angle views, so the driver has direct vision of the surrounding area.
As a part of the PSS, Moving Off Information Systems (MOIS) will boost front-of-vehicle safety. These systems can detect the presence of pedestrians, cyclists, or other objects in the vehicle's vicinity and alert the driver through visual or audible warnings. This timely heads-up will enable drivers to take the necessary action promptly, crucially lowering the risk of collisions in busy urban environments.
To ensure full coverage down the nearside of the vehicle, the PSS will likely introduce Ultra-Sonic/Radar Sensors. They will effectively detect vulnerable road users without activating due to roadside furniture or stationary vehicles. This is crucial in London, where the number of cyclists and vulnerable road users continues to grow.
Audible warning alarms are a vital part of the proposed PSS. These alarms emit distinct sounds to alert pedestrians and cyclists of the vehicle's presence and intended manoeuvres, especially valuable where a driver's direct line of sight might be limited. Left turns into junctions are some of the most common instances of collisions with cyclists and other vulnerable road users.
The PSS requires the installation of sideguards and under-run protection to mitigate risks to vulnerable road users. Sideguards prevent cyclists and pedestrians from being dragged beneath the vehicle in the event of a collision. Similarly, under-run protection consists of sturdy barriers that prevent smaller vehicles or pedestrians from sliding beneath the chassis.
The final PSS requirements are set to be published in summer 2023 following a review process of the feedback received during the consultation period earlier this year. The PSS will then be enforced from October 2024, marking the implementation of phase two of the DVS.
The implementation of the PSS is an exciting progression towards achieving ‘Vision Zero’. With its advanced safety measures, we’re hopeful it will contribute to a significant reduction in accidents involving HGVs, making our roads safer for everyone.
For fleet operators concerned about the cost of upgrading their systems, there is no need to worry. Although the exact requirements have not yet been set out, we’re confident that existing systems will be able to make upgrades to meet the new requirements. Where new systems are required, for instance with front MOIS cameras and more intelligent side scan systems, Sentinel will still be able to help.
At Sentinel Systems, we're ready to help your fleet meet need regulator requirements, no matter how challenging they might seem. Want to know more about PSS, DVS, or anything else related to vehicle safety? Contact us today, we’re here to help.