What is Direct Vision Standard and are you compliant?

If you are part of the logistics industry, you may have heard of Direct Vision Standard (DVS) compliance. This refers to the measurement of how much an HGV driver can see directly through their cab windows, and indicates the level of risk to vulnerable road users, such as people walking and cycling, near the vehicle.

The Direct Vision Standard and HGV safety permit for HGVs is part of the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London’s transport network by 2041.

From October 26, 2020, all HGVs that are over 12 tonnes will require a Direct Vision Standard safety permit to operate in the Greater London area.

Businesses have had three years to prepare for this deadline, which will be enforced from March 1st, 2021. So, are you prepared? Have you checked the Direct Vision Standard star rating of your HGVs? Have you fitted the necessary ‘Safe Systems’ to meet CVS requirements?

If not, read on for some vital information.


What is the Direct Vision Standard?

The Direct Vision Standard measures how much an HGV driver can see directly through their cab windows. This measurement indicates the level of risk to other road users, particularly vulnerable pedestrians or cyclists.

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DVS uses a star rating to grade HGVs from zero (the lowest rating) to give (the highest rating). Drivers that have a zero-star rating will have poor direct vision and therefore will not be able to see the head and shoulders of a pedestrian who is less than 4.5m away from the cab side.

However, drivers with a five star rated vehicle will have good direct vision and will be able to see pedestrians, motorists and cyclists who are directly next to the cab side of their vehicles.

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DVS was designed to eliminate any blind spots from HGVs with the aim to reduce the risk to other vulnerable road users. For example, many cyclists are at risk when riding next to them as drivers are higher up and therefore may be unable to see the cyclist.

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Therefore, by improving driver visibility, DVS will reduce risks caused by close-proximity blind spot collisions and give drivers the tools they require to maneuver safely.

The Direct Vision Standard and HGV safety permit for HGVs is part of the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London’s transport network by 2041.


How do you make your vehicles compliant?

If your vehicle meets the minimum DVS start rating you will be able to apply for a permit. Bear in mind that from October 26th 2020, the minimum DVS rating will be one start to enter or operate in Greater London. This, however, will increase to a minimum of three stars in 2024.

However, if your vehicle does not meet the DVS star rating, or is not rated, you will need to meet the ‘Safe System’ requirements in order to obtain a permit.


What is a Safe System?

The Safe System refers to a series of vehicle safety measures designed to reduce the risks that HGVs post to vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists.

To maintain consistency, the Safe System is aligned to other scheme requirements and existing regulations, as much as possible.

The Safe System requirements have been identified as current industry ‘good practice’ by independent advisory groups, including representatives from cycling and pedestrian groups, industry trade associations, vehicle manufacturers and government organisations.

Safe System requirements for zero star-rated vehicles include:

1. Class V mirror shall be fitted to the nearside of the vehicle

2. Class VI mirror shall be fitted to the front of the vehicle

3. Side under-run protection shall be fitted to both sides of the vehicle (except where this is impractical or proves to be impossible)

4. External pictorial stickers and markings shall be displayed on vehicles to warn vulnerable road users of the hazards around the vehicle

5. A sensor system that alerts the driver to the presence of a vulnerable road user shall be fitted to the nearside of the vehicle

6. Audible vehicle manoeuvring warning shall be fitted to warn vulnerable road users when a vehicle is turning left

7. A fully operational camera monitoring system shall be fitted to the nearside of the vehicle


How do you apply for a permit?

Operators of vehicles requiring a permit will need to apply to TfL and permits will be issued electronically only. Operators will receive a permit reference number with their confirmation email but no certificate or hard copy permit will be issued. Enforcement will be carried out using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras by comparing the TfL database of vehicle registrations with valid permits to those without.

Where a vehicle with a valid permit is sold and purchased by a new owner, they must apply for a new permit. This will ensure records for enforcement are up to date. The duration of the permit will depend on the following factors:

• Zero star vehicles with an approved Safe System will be granted a permit until 2024 (when the Progressive Safe System will be required for vehicles rated two star or below)

• One and two star vehicles will be granted permits until 2024 (when the Progressive Safe System will be required)

• Three, four and five star vehicles will be granted a 10 year permit

Permits will be free of charge and there will be no cost to the operator when applying for the permit/s. From October 26th 2020, any HGV found to be in breach of the permit scheme will be issued a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) of up to £550.



Not sure if you’re compliant?

To take away all the difficulty and confusion surrounding DVS, we are offering you a free DVS compliance check which will deliver expert advice on the exact DVS requirements for your fleet.

Get in touch for more information

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