What is Direct Vision Standard?
The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) is the first legislation of its kind. From 26th October 2020, ALL goods vehicles over 12 tonnes will require a permit to drive into Greater London, including vehicles from outside of the UK.
Enforced by Transport for London (TfL), the legislation is based on a ‘star rating’ indicating how much a driver can see from the cab in relation to other road users.
The vehicle manufacturer will issue a star rating for your vehicle. This rating (0-5) is based on how the vehicle left the production line and will not take into account any aftermarket safety systems that have been fitted.
HGVs that do not meet the minimum requirement of one star need to comply with the Safe System which requires the installation of extra devices for indirect vision (similar to FORS & CLOCS specifications). Complying with the Safe System will not alter the vehicle’s star rating but will permit you to drive into Greater London.
By 2024 DVS minimum star requirements increase to three stars.
How long will the permit last?
The duration of the HGV Safety Permit depends on whether the the vehicle meets the minimum DVS requirement or if it was granted subject to the Safe System:
The permits of vehicles rated One or Two stars or those that have qualified on the Safe System will expire at the end of 25th October 2024. From October 2024, these vehicles will need to reapply for a 10 year permit under the progressive Safe System.
The permits of vehicles Three, Four or Five stars will expire at the end of 25th October 2030 or ten years after the application date if granted later than 26th October 2020 (whichever is the later).
The progressive Safe System: Requirements will be reviewed in 2022 to take into account any new technology or safety equipment not currently available. If deemed important, these will need to be installed on all 0, 1 & 2 star rated vehicles before re-application.
The scheme will be implemented by a decriminalised Traffic Regulation Order, meaning a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) can be issued. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras will detect a vehicle which will be checked with TfL’s permit database. Operators/hauliers without a permit may be issued a PCN of £550 and £130 for the driver, even if the vehicle is five star rated every time the vehicle enters Greater London.
How to apply
The permit is free of charge and there is no requirement to display anything in the vehicle. To apply for a permit you need access to the TfL online application form.
1. All HGVs need a star rating which can only be obtained by contacting the manufacturer. There is no published available. The rating (0-5) will be based on how the vehicle left the production line and will not take into account any aftermarket safety systems that have been fitted.
To obtain star rating you will need the VIN number of the HGV.
For a 0 star rating: Proceed to step 2
For a 1 or 2 star rating: proceed to step 3 although step 2 is recommended.
For a 3, 4 or 5 star rating: proceed to step 3
2. If your vehicle is 0 star rated, you must comply with the Safe System which requires the fitting of extra devices for indirect vision. Proof of installation must be supplied to TfL when you apply for your permit.
Operators with a 1-2 star rating may want to think about meeting requirements to future proof vehicles. It is also worth nothing that if the vehicle is required on certain sites, the FORS and CLOCS specification may be enforced.
3. HGVs that are 1-5 star rated will automatically be eligible for a permit but will still need to apply.
For vehicles with a star rating of 1-2, your permit will be valid until 25th October 2024.
For vehicles with a star rating of 3-5, your permit will be valid until 25th October 2030 or 10 years (which ever is the later).
Vehicles that have 0 star rating but have complied with the Safe System will be issued with a permit valid until 25th October 2024. Proof of installation must be supplied to TFL with the application.
What to do if your vehicle is zero rated
If your vehicle is 0 star rated, you must comply with the requirements of the Safe System. This is a series of vehicle safety measures which aim to improve the overall safety of the HGV.
The following devices are required to comply:
- Class V mirror fitted to the nearside of the vehicle
- Class VI mirror fitted to the front of the vehicle
- Side under-run protection fitted to both sides of the vehicle except where this is impractical or proves to be impossible. See TfL website for exemptions.
- External pictorial stickers and markings shall we displayed on vehicles to warn vulnerable road users of the hazards around the vehicle
- A sensor system that alerts the driver to the presence of a vulnerable road user fitted to the nearside of the vehicle
- Audible vehicle manoeuvring warning to warn vulnerable road users when a vehicle is turning left
- A fully operational camera monitoring system fitted to the nearside of the vehicle
- If your vehicle already complies with FORS Silver, it will meet the requirements of the Safe System.
We now have a selection of DVS kits available to purchase online.
Article Credit: Brigade Electronics – Direct Vision Standard Guide – Feb 2020.