New driving law: 7,000 drivers have been issued penalty charge notices for new London rule
Just months ago, Transport for London launched a new direct vision standard for lorries across Central Lonon. This new rule required operators of Heavy Goods Vehicles weighing more than 12 tonnes to apply for a free visibility permit.
This will assign each vehicle with a star rating based on how much the driver can see through their cab.
Permits are being electronically enforced by Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras but some drivers are still being caught out by the changes.
According to TfL, around 7,000 penalty charge notices were issued for drivers without a permit in place.
Those without a permit are likely to be charged up to a £550 fine.
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However, the charge can be reduced to £275 if this is paid within 14 days.
Drivers must pay or challenge their penalty charge notice online through the TfL website.
Christina Calderato, Head of Transport Strategy and Planning at TfL said the new rule has “improved” the safety of lorries within the capital.
She said: “We want to thank all of the freight operators who have led the way in ensuring they only operate the safest lorries in London and across the UK and we would like to encourage any freight operators who haven’t yet applied for a safety permit to do so.
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“The safety permits are just the first step in our aim to ensure that families don’t experience the tragedy of preventable road collisions involving HGVs and we will be strengthening our life-saving direct vision standards in 2024.”
The new system was introduced as part of the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero Plan.
This aims to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London’s transport network by at least 2041.
However, despite many cars applying for a permit, TfL has had to make a whole host of changes to several models.
They warn if a vehicle does not meet the minimum star rating, drivers will need to make safety improvements.
In some extreme cases, drivers can even receive a penalty charge notice if their car is not up to any safety standards.
TfL has confirmed 136,000 permits have been issued to date but 70,000 models have needed to be fitted with extra security features.
These were introduced to boost visibility and help protect people who may be walking or cycling nearby.
A very small number of vehicles are entitled to an exemption from the permit scheme.
These include construction vehicles built for mainly off-road use such as mobile cranes.
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