As part of the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero plan which hopes to eliminate all injuries and deaths on London’s transport network, the Direct Vision Standard measures how much an HGV driver can see directly through their cab windows.
To indicate the level of direct vision around the cab, vehicles are assigned a star rating ranging from 0 stars (poor; high risk to surrounding road users) to 5 stars (excellent; low risk to surrounding road users). The idea is that the Direct Vision Standard will minimise drivers’ blind spots, reducing the risk to cyclists and pedestrians around the vehicle. You can check your star rating on the TfL website.
While operators of HGVs in Greater London will already be familiar with the requirements of the DVS and safety permit scheme, it’s important to note that some major changes are anticipated in October 2024. Here’s our full guide to the Direct Vision Standard and permit scheme changes so you can prepare for the legislation changes and maintain DVS compliance.
What is the DVS and safety permit scheme in 2023?
Since March 1st 2021, the DVS and safety permit scheme has required all operators of lorries over 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight to obtain a safety permit for entering most of Greater London. HGV (heavy goods vehicles) operators are required to apply for this permit for their vehicles and will be granted the permit if the vehicle meets the minimum DVS star rating.
In 2023, vehicles that meet the minimum DVS star rating of one star can apply for a permit without needing to provide any additional evidence or fitting Safe System elements. If the vehicle is rated zero stars, the operator will need to fit Safe System improvements to make the vehicle safer. Safe System improvements are safety measures that can be added to the vehicle after the point of manufacture. These include:
- Camera monitoring system to be fitted to the nearside of the vehicle
- Sensor system fitted on the nearside of the vehicle alerts drivers when cyclists or pedestrians are nearby
- Class V mirror for the nearside of the vehicle
- Class VI mirror for the front of the vehicle
- Audible vehicle manoeuvring warning to be fitted to the vehicle to alert vulnerable road users to the vehicle turning.
- Side under-run protection fitted to both sides of the vehicle unless this is not practical for the vehicle in question
- Warning signage displayed on the vehicle
Applying for a permit is free of charge. Driving an HGV in these areas without a valid permit can result in a penalty charge notice (PCN) of up to £550. However, this charge can be reduced to £275 if paid within 14 days.
How will the Direct Vision Standard and permit scheme change in October 2024?
The main change to the standard that will be implemented in October 2024 is that the minimum DVS star rating will rise from one star to three stars. This means that any vehicle with a three star rating or above can apply for a permit without making any changes. However, if your HGV is rated zero, one, or two stars, you will need to fit a Progressive Safe System in your vehicle.
The Progressive Safe System includes:
- Camera monitoring systems to eliminate any remaining blind spots
- Sensor system fitted on the vehicle nearside must detect vulnerable road users to prevent left turn collisions
- Moving Off Information Systems (MOIS) sensors fitted to the front of the vehicle
- Audible vehicle manoeuvring warning to be fitted to the vehicle to alert other road users of intended manoeuvres
- Warning signage displayed on the vehicle
Will the new requirements affect me?
The new legislation will affect the large majority of HGV operators in London. Most of these vehicles are currently one or two star rated and therefore will need to undergo the Progressive Safe System changes. These new system additions such as MOIS sensors are intended to increase road safety to meet the Mayor of London’s vision to eliminate all deaths and injuries on the London transport network by 2041.
Need help with DVS?
Here at Crystal Ball, we can help you become compliant with the London-wide Direct Vision Standard regulations. We offer a DVS camera system for minimising or totally eliminating nearside blind spots for safer manoeuvres. We also provide sensor systems and audible warning systems to help improve safety for HGVs and other road users.
To find out more about how Crystal Ball can help you comply with the DVS, check the length of valid permits, and view a map of the DVS zone, visit our Direct Vision Standard page.
Or, get in touch today and we’ll be happy to help.