The new Direct Vision Standard (DVS) is designed to make the streets of London safer for pedestrians and cyclists and affects all vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight of 12 tonnes or more.
Though the scheme will only take effect in Greater London, in a recent Truck Fleet webinar hosted by TFP Schemes (which you can watch on demand here), over three quarters of brokers believed DVS may be adopted in more UK cities over the coming years…
From 26 October 2020, ALL vehicles over 12 tonnes will have to have a permit to drive into the controlled area, which includes Greater London and stretches out as far as the M25 in places. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, permit enforcement will not begin until March 2021 at the earliest, but vehicles will still need to comply with the rules. When the rules come into force, drivers that fail to comply may be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice of £550 (which will be reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days).
The DVS objectively measures a driver’s direct view through the windows of an HGV cab. This is communicated as a star rating from zero (poor) to five (excellent), which indicates the level of risk to people walking and cycling near the vehicle. From enforcement commencement, the minimum DVS rating will be one star to enter or operate in Greater London and this will then increase to a minimum of three stars in 2024.
Via the TFL Website, you can search for your Vehicle Type using a Vehicle Registration Number and be provided with your Star Rating. Some vehicles have one star, but many larger vehicles will have zero. So, to be permitted into Greater London, many vehicles will require the addition of Safe System Improvements.
Safe System Improvements required to apply for a permit in a zero rated vehicle includes vehicle stickers and Class V and VI driver mirrors, plus an ‘Entry Level’ DVS Safe System Camera Monitoring system with side-view cameras, monitor in cab, driver alters and an audible vehicle manoeuvring warning; the system does not require recording. Finally, vehicles will require side-underrun protection.
As part of a permit application for a zero-rated vehicle, you will need to provide two photos showing the Safe System measures have been fitted. Zero star vehicles with an approved Safe System will be granted a permit until 25 October 2024 (when the Progressive Safe System will be required for vehicles rated two star or below).