The Elite 6 wide and narrow cabs rank first and second overall according to the DVS scoring system. They come with a number of additional mandatory safety features as standard, including sideguards.
further work is required to reduce road danger. Its Vision Zero ambition aims to create a road network free from death and serious injury by 2041 and, as part of this, London Mayor Sadiq Khan launched the world’s first Direct Vision Standard for HGVs in September 2016. Designed to enhance safety for all road users – particularly vulnerable users such as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists – the DVS rates HGVs from zero stars to five stars. This is based on how much an HGV driver can see directly through their cab windows, as opposed to indirectly through cameras or mirrors. HGV blind spots have proven to be a major contributory factor in fatal collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians, so the DVS is intended to help address this. Richard explains that developing the standard involved an analysis of collision data as well as consideration of just how much of a person can, and needs, to be seen to avoid a collision. ‘Each HGV assessed has been given a rating based on how much a driver can see of the “area of the greatest risk” to vulnerable road users. This area is split into different zones, giving a higher weighting to the zones where collisions are most likely to occur because greater vision in this area increases the likelihood of drivers being able to see potential hazards and take evasive action to avoid a collision if required,’ says Richard. The DVS uses a defined technical measurement to calculate the total volume of the area of greatest risk that can be seen directly by the driver and, based on this, has awarded each vehicle a score. This score has subsequently been used to determine the star rating of vehicles. Five stars is the highest rating and means drivers can see more of the area deemed to represent greatest risk, resulting in better overall direct visibility. From 2020, any truck that does not meet the one-star rating will require operators to obtain a safety permit. This can be achieved by fulfilling the requirements of a new Safe System. ‘The introduction of the DVS has not been without controversy,’ Richard acknowledges. ‘The onus is now on vehicle operators to contact manufacturers to request a DVS rating for existing Euro VI vehicles or enquire about the rating of new ones. And some have voiced concerns that the initiative focuses solely on visibility from the cab, whereas they argue that research has shown that new technology would deliver far better results in terms of improving road safety standards.’ Richard adds that Dennis Eagle’s Elite 6 cabs have all attained five-star ratings. ‘Our Elite 6 wide and narrow variants rank first and second overall according to the DVS scoring system. They come with
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a number of additional mandatory safety features as standard, including sideguards, which are designed to mitigate the risk of cyclists or pedestrians being dragged underneath a vehicle in the event of a collision.’ The vehicles also feature Lane Departure Warning and Advanced Emergency Braking System technology, which monitors and regulates the trajectory and speed of a vehicle under certain conditions and stops vehicles straying across lanes unintentionally. ‘Our vehicles can also be fitted with a number of further safety features designed to improve safety for cyclists and other vulnerable road users, including blind spot mirrors, 360-degree camera systems, proximity sensors, and LED lighting. And, although work is still being carried out to rate older Euro V chassis in relation to DVS standards, we can reveal that our older Elite 2, Euro IV and V models also achieve five-star ratings, which means we can be confident about the vehicles we provide to our customers, and our customers can be confident operating their older, 2008-onward vehicles.’
Improving air quality The Greenpeace report found that London, Budapest, and Paris have some of the highest air pollution levels. According to Barbara Stoll, a Greenpeace Clean Air campaigner: ‘Safe roads and clean air go hand in hand. This study shows that when you improve a city’s public transport infrastructure in a sustainable way, people breathe cleaner air and their roads are safer.’ The UK government’s ‘Air quality: draft Clean Air Strategy 2018’ consultation is currently open for responses until 14 August 2018. ‘One of the main themes of the strategy document is the focus on reducing emissions from transport,’ explains Richard. ‘This is something we are actively seeking to address at Dennis Eagle, with our brand new eCollect electric vehicle, which is set to go into production towards the end of 2019.’ The eCollect EV is a fully-integrated product, incorporating a lowentry chassis, refuse compaction body, bin lift, and telematics system. It has specially-designed battery packs and control systems that incorporate next-generation 300kWh batteries and a 200kW electric motor driving a conventional axle. ‘This will initially be available in a 26-tonne 6x2 rear steer narrow configuration with left or right-hand drive options, and a 19m3 narrow body and automatic split bin lift,’ says Richard. ‘It also features our five-star DVS Elite 6 chassis. This vehicle is the result of many years of research and development and we are confident that it will offer our customers a more environmentally-friendly refuse collection vehicle that delivers affordable lifetime costs, while providing zeroemission waste collection and transportation. We hope it will lead the way to safer and greener refuse collection and construction transportation in London and other areas across the UK.’