The Safety Standard permit consultation is an extension of the first direct vision consultation, whose interim results were announced by Transport for London in September. The Permit Scheme could include cameras, sensors and even driver training as part of its remit.
Under the HGV Safety Standard Permit Scheme proposal, trucks that have a zero star vision rating will need to meet this requirement in order to obtain a permit to operate in London from 2020. The announcement of this consultation coincides with the publication of interim star ratings for today's trucks.
The interim rating is based on the cab's volume of vision and floor height. With this in mind Volvo are exhibiting an N3 FM with rear air suspension and tandem axle lift, factory fitted lower window in the door, narrow mirrors and a camera with integrated screen in the dash.
The other FM is a medium-height chassis N3 tipper grab, with lower door window and the same specification features. These two trucks provide operators with the opportunity to evaluate a different option to today's N3G extra-high trucks.
Volvo Trucks' Head of Product Management John Comer explains that the company supports improved direct vision, but this is only one aspect of safety in a complex city driving environment. "In the city, relative speeds and traffic flow change by the second. This, to some degree, has been acknowledged in the proposed permit scheme. At this stage the direct vision star ratings are interim and we are now entering the second phase of the consultation process, he says. "By exhibiting these vehicles, Volvo wants to invite operator reaction on vision and how these lower chassis will perform in service, in order to formulate views and information so that all can take part in the second consultation."
Volvo Trucks will also have on display its pedestrian and cycle safety training material from the company's ‘See and Be Seen'programme. The scheme focuses on pedestrian safety and aimed at juniors in the 8 plus age group, but there is also a new element to the programme for secondary and adult education that highlights the risks and dangers for all vulnerable road users.