VUE: could DVS come to Greater Manchester?

By Categories: Commercial NewsPublished On: Thursday 23 May 2024

Safety equipment provider VUE has responded to recent media reports suggesting that Greater Manchester authorities are considering the introduction of a scheme similar to the London Direct Vision Standard (DVS), as part of their plan to eliminate deaths and life-changing injuries on the roads of the region by 2040.

“The Vision Zero strategy and Safe System approach has been endorsed by the local councils in the Greater Manchester region along with other key stakeholders such as Transport for Greater Manchester, National Highways and Greater Manchester Police,” said VUE.

“The aim is to improve road safety and minimise the severity of traffic accidents through a variety of ways which can be found in the draft version of the plans.

“To name a few, these methods include building safer road infrastructure, improving post-crash response, introducing new legislation, and increasing public awareness of levels of responsibility on the roads.

“Much like the Direct Vision Standard, the strategy is largely focused on protecting vulnerable road users as they face the greatest risk compared to users of large vehicles such as HGVs.

“This is evidenced by the fact that pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists made up two-thirds of those killed or seriously injured on Greater Manchester roads in 2022.

“With the metropolitan city of Manchester often likened to the ‘Capital of the North’ it’s no surprise that there is now a possibility of implementing the HGV permit scheme devised by Transport for London,” the firm added.

The region’s high population and dense road network, along with Manchester’s status as the European Capital of Cycling in 2024, make it appear highly possible that a scheme similar to DVS will be introduced to further protect vulnerable road users, VUE suggests.

“The new [London] DVS requirements taking effect in October 2024 require vehicles to be fitted with a moving off information system (MOIS) which activates on proximity and alerts the driver in-cab,” the company continued.

“If this is replicated in the Greater Manchester version of DVS and an HGV is found without a MOIS, this would result in substantial fines and potentially the vehicle being taken off the road.”

The DVS guidelines also state operators must ensure vehicles have a blind spot information system (BSIS) to eliminate blind spots down the nearside of the vehicle and provide alerts when a VRU is identified which, if replicated in Greater Manchester, might lead to the deployment by fleets of AI technology that distinguishes between vulnerable road users and static objects, the firm suggests.

“Even though these guideless may seem complex, costly, and frustrating for fleet managers, implementing safety technology to this standard can only help to prevent accidents and reduce the risk your drivers pose on the road,” VUE added.

“The scheme is designed to improve visibility around a vehicle, particularly when manoeuvring at low speeds in busy built-up areas, so schemes like the Direct Vision Standard ensure your drivers have all the tools they need to drive safely.”