London’s Direct Vision Standard comes into force on the 1st March, so it’s vital that all HGV drivers are aware of this new regulation. If you normally use the M25 as part of your day-to-day operations, make sure you and your vehicles are prepared.

What is the Direct Vision Standard?

The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) is a requirement of all HGVs over 12 tonnes travelling to or through Greater London. From the 1st March 2021, all 12 tonne+ HGV’s will need to hold a valid safety permit to enter this enforcement zone.

Why Has This Been Put Into Place?

Developed by the Mayor of London, the DVS is part of his Vision Zero initiative which aims to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London’s transport network by 2041. It will protect all road users, but pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists in particular.

HGVs are disproportionately more likely to be involved in a pedal cyclist fatality. Between 2011 and 2016, collisions involving HGVs and cyclists accounted for 23% of cycling fatalities from 2-vehicle collisions, despite HGVs comprising just 5% of traffic in GB.

How is a HGV’s Safety Measured?

The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) measures a HGVs safety by assessing the amount of direct vision from the truck’s cab window. The vehicles are then given a star rating which determines how you are to obtain a permit.

If you do not get a valid permit and drive without one after the 1st March, you could have to pay a penalty charge notice of up to £550. Applying for a permit is a free and simple process and can be done here.

A minimum of a 1 star rating is required to obtain a safety permit; if your vehicle has a 0 star rating, you need to improve the vehicle’s safety according to the DVS Safe System.

The Direct Vision Standard Safe System

This Safe System has been compiled using best practices from existing, industry-recognised schemes. It includes:

  • Mirrors: Class V and VI mirrors that eliminate blind spots around the vehicle
  • Sensors: Near-side proximity sensors with a driver alert that warn drivers of any vulnerable road users on their near-side
  • Cameras: Camera monitoring system, including side cameras and an in-cab monitor, that increases the driver’s visibility
  • Alarms: A left-turn audible alarm that warns vulnerable road users when a vehicle indicates left
  • Under-run Protection: Sideguards to reduce the chance of injury to cyclists and pedestrians
  • Alerts: Warning signage to warn road users of the hazards around the vehicle

You can apply for a permit once these changes have been made to the vehicle so you can supply evidence for it.

The Future of the Direct Vision Standard

It is generally good practice to ensure your vehicle has fitted all of the equipment mentioned in the DVS Safe System anyway. If your vehicle has a 3, 4 or 5 star rating, you will be able to apply for a 10 year permit; if you are below this, you will receive a permit that will last until 2024. From then, it will be mandatory that vehicles below 3 star ratings will need to install the Safe System.

At Cross Country Carriers, we always aim to keep up to date with vital information regarding industry news and regulations. Plus, road safety is one of our top priorities and we always ensure that both our drivers and vehicles are safe on the roads, so we keep our customers safe too.

If you would like more information about this or have any enquiries, please contact us today.

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