Promising Proposition On The Direct Vision Standard

Direct Vision Standard- Blog Image 486x366

If you are someone who typically drives a vehicle in the Greater London region, you will already know that there are legislations and regulations in force to help aid in the safety of road users, while also reducing risk of environmental damage.

As it is currently upheld, and governed through the Transport for London (TfL) any vehicles over 12 tonnes in Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) must have a minimum one-star rating to be able to hold a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) Safety Permit. This permit allows these vehicles to operate in Greater London.

If the vehicle has a zero-star rating, they must implement a progressive safe system (PSS) which is used to increase in the safety and visibility of other road users for the HGV driver.

It has already been explained how this scheme, which was introduced in 2019, has already reduced fatal collisions in the greater London region.

Although, with the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero Plan in mind, there is a push to tighten the restrictions for HGVs travelling in Greater London. This is to help reduce the number of fatalities and injuries to vulnerable road users to zero.

As of Monday 28th October 2024, all vehicles which are over 12 tonnes in GVW must have a Direct Vision Standard (DVS) of at least three-stars in order to drive and operate in Greater London.

Improving the safety of other road users more. Particularly, pedestrians and cyclists.

Key Takeaways

  • As of 28th October 2024, HGVs over 12 tonnes must have a Direct Vision Standard (DVS) rating of at least 3 stars, or fit a progressive Safe System (PSS) in order to operate in greater London.
  • The new system is to improve safety for other road users, especially pedestrians and cyclists.
  • These vehicles must have an HGV Safety permit. This Safety Permit Scheme operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • DVS measures how much a driver can see directly out of their HGV to determine star rating.

How the DVS is Measured

The star system is determined by how much a driver can directly see out of their HGV. This will consider blind spots, and any assists the vehicle would need to help improve the safety for other road users.

In the event that a vehicle is two-stars or below, they must have a PSS installed in their vehicles. This system is made up of several components that would be fitted to the vehicle.

PSS Components

Blind Spot Sensors

These sensors are fitted to the side of the vehicle, and emit noise which is designed to give the driver plenty of warning that there is a vulnerable road user.

Moving off Sensors

Fitted at the front of the vehicle, this is to warn the driver of the presence of any vulnerable road users.

Side Under-Run Protection

This must be fitted on both sides of the vehicle, unless physically impossible to do so safely.

Audible Warning Alert

This must be an audible vehicle manoeuvring warning. This is so it can provide road users warning as to when the vehicle is turning left.

Camera Monitoring System

A fully operational camera monitoring system must be fitted at the front/nearside of the vehicle. This is to become a visual aid to this blind spot.

Prominent Visual Warning Sign

External, visible stickers and markings must be displayed on the vehicle. These pictorial stickers give visual warning to road users, as to the hazards presented around the vehicle.

Class V & VI Mirrors

Also known as kerbside & close proximity guidance, these are either mirrors, or a camera monitoring system which replaces the mirrors. These must be fitted at the front and nearside of the vehicle. This could also be a combination of both mirrors and a camera operating system.

These components must meet the following criteria in order to be approved operate in Greater London

  • Can be retrofitted to the HGV
  • Is an industry recognised component
  • These components must be readily available
  • Is not cost prohibited

It will be up to the TfL to assure adequacy of your PSS before you receive your permit.

UK Map with pin on London

Penalty Charge Notice

If you are in breach of your permit scheme, you will be given a penalty charge of up to £550. This can be halved if paid within 14 days of receiving your penalty.

There is also the potential of your permit being either suspended, or revoked if you are not compliant with your permit, PSS or star rating.

This is why you must comply and be accurate with your permit application. Trying to avoid applying PSS to your vehicle can result in your application, or permit being denied.

Applying for a Permit

In order to receive your HGV permit, you can apply online. This is free, and you will receive your permit via email, which will include your rating, or whether you have a PSS in place with your vehicle.

The permit is for one vehicle only. If you own more than one HGV over 12 tonnes that will be driving and operating in the greater London area, you will need to have individual permits for each vehicle.

This also includes in the event you purchase a new vehicle, and they already have a permit. You will have to reapply for a new permit.

If your vehicle was an existing zero, one or two star rated vehicle, you must register the vehicle with the TfL. They must supply satisfactory evidence which prove that they have an appointment, with the intention of installing the PSS before Friday 31st January, 2025.

Those HGVs who have a three-to-five-star rating will get a permit that will be granted for 10 years.

Once your permit expires, you must reapply for a new Direct Vision Standard permit. This is only if you are still needing to operate in Greater London.

Portsmouth depot HGV parked

The Permit Process

The Direct Vision Standard application is a 4-step process. As it currently stands, you need AT LEAST a one-star rating to receive your HGV permit without the installation of a safe system. This will change in accordance to the 28th October, so the steps are current to the update intended.

Step 1- Do you need a permit?

You will need to assess if you will be driving in Greater London. If this is the case, then you will need a permit. As it currently stands, you do not need a permit to operate in any other greater city on the UK.

Step 2- Identify your Star rating

Once you have determined whether you need a permit, you can find out if the TfL already hold a star rating for your HGV on their website.

If they do not have a star rating for your HGV, then you can phone or email your vehicle manufacturer with your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The manufacture will then advise a star rating, which you must pass on to the TfL.

Step 3- Safe System Installation

If you are rated between zero to two stars, you must fit the additional safety equipment listed above. If you are rated three to five stars, you can submit your Direct Vision Standard application.

Step 4- Submit your HGV Permit Application

You can now Apply for your permit online. You must enter the vehicle, operator, and contact details. You will receive your electronic permit thereafter.

If you must install the Safe System equipment, then you must supply two photos of your equipment installed on the vehicle.

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