Fleet management experts Venson Automotive Solutions said HGV operators needed to review their safety and compliance measures to reduce the risk to road users ahead of new Direct Vision (DVS) rules next year.

Drawing on government figures that showed lorries have the highest rate of other road user fatalities per passenger mile, Venson said hauliers should always be keeping an eye on safety implications.

Transport for London rules coming into force in October 2024 mean new vehicles over 12 tonnes must have a three-star rating or be fitted with a range of safety systems.

Simon Staton, client management director for Venson, said: “TfL’s new HGV permit scheme, which focuses on maximising how much the driver can see directly through the vehicle’s cab windows of the area around the vehicle where collisions are most likely to take place, will go some way in reducing avoidable collisions.

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“Commercial fleet operators who communicate well with their drivers and implement daily checks to increase safety can go a long way to reducing their road risks.”

Venson added that an HGV driver is legally responsible for the vehicle they are driving and they should carry out a basic roadworthiness check every day, or at the start of a new shift.

Staton said operators outside of the capital should also review their safety measures: “The economy is placing significant pressure on fleet operators and drivers, but safety cannot afford to slip through the net and every city in the UK needs to be safeguarded,” he said.

“In the event of an accident, a company must be able to prove that it has taken all necessary precautions to ensure that their vehicles remain in the safest possible condition.”