Safety solutions supplier Sentinel Systems has welcomed the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) as “undoubtedly a step forward in improving safety on London’s roads”, with clear benefits for vulnerable road users and pedestrians, and indirect benefits felt both by drivers of commercial vehicles and the organisations operating them.
However, the firm says that while the DVS regulation is likely to make a measurable difference, it shouldn’t be seen as a ‘magic bullet’.
While it focuses primarily on the driver’s line of sight, improving the direct visibility of road users, pedestrians and obstacles from the vehicle’s driving seat, it misses the opportunity to promote all-round vision as the best way to bring the greatest benefit, the company contends – adding that going beyond compliance has a compelling business case for fleet operators.
Technologies that increase drivers’ all-round vision and awareness can not only change the outcome when an incident does happen, says Sentinel, but also enable drivers to avoid the circumstances that lead to those incidents in the first place.
Improved awareness is also available to personnel running the fleet, it adds, with telematics systems such as Sentinel’s Live View providing fleet managers with immediate all-round vision, too. This increased intelligence enables training for better performance, greater certainty following incidents and even real-time logistics planning.
According to Sentinel, operators should see DVS as a catalyst to prompt them to invest in the longer-term benefits of commercial vehicle safety technologies.
When selecting a provider, the firm advises choosing one that carries out installation, setup, maintenance and support itself. It also advocates enquiring how much control and influence the provider has had over the development of the technology.
For operators already up-to-speed in these areas, the company points out that FORS Silver is a very similar set of requirements to DVS – so they may already be meeting the standards required. Sentinel is a FORS Associate.
John Little, managing director of Sentinel Systems, added: “We have seen many fleet operators invest in the clear benefits of going beyond the minimum TfL DVS compliance requirements by installing multi-camera systems for a clear all round view.
“Having the knowledge and security of video footage covering any incident is not only peace of mind but important evidence in determining appropriate liability.”
There is extensive DVS information available on Sentinel’s website, and the firm says its experts can advise on any aspect of the scheme and how to meet and beat compliance.
Image (above): Riney, a civil engineering contractor in London, worked with Sentinel Systems to install camera and recording devices to its fleet of 25 HGVs, providing all-round vision and going above and beyond DVS requirements