Direct Vision Standard is a rating system that measures a driver's ability to see from the cab of a heavy goods vehicle. The level of visibility is rated from zero to five stars. Zero represents the lowest level of visibility and five stars the highest.
WHAT IS DIRECT VISION STANDARD?
The Direct Vision Standard is used to measure how well a driver can see through his cab windows. It objectively measures the driver's visibility and how big their blind spots are.
Direct Vision Standard (DVS) ratings for any vehicle are available from the vehicle manufacturer. You can check the DVS star rating for your vehicles and then implement a 'Safe System' if one is needed. HGV operators in the London area will need to carry a DSV safety permit or face a fine.
GREATER LONDON DSV REQUIREMENTS
Operators of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) over 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight require a Direct Vision Standard (DVS) safety permit to operate in the Greater London Area. If you own such a vehicle you must obtain a safety permit before entering Greater London – or else you will face a penalty charge notice.
THOSE WITHOUT A PERMIT FACE A FINE
The DSV safety permit scheme covers most of Greater London and is being implemented 24 hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year. If you want to avoid a fine you need to get a DVS safety permit.
A fixed penalty notice of £550 will be issued to any vehicle breaching the scheme. However, the fee is reduced to £275 if it is paid within 14 days. Additionally, the driver of the vehicle faces a £130 fine.
DVS STAR SCORE SYSTEM
A star system from zero to five is used to score the level of visibility. Zero is the lowest score you can get and represents very poor visibility from the cab. Five stars is the highest score and represents the best level of visibility. The star system was introduced as an easy way to define and standardise the visibility level from a HGV cab.
WHAT DO THE STARS MEAN?
A score of zero stars means the driver has poor direct vision. They will not be able to see the head or shoulders of a pedestrian who is 4.5 metres or less away from the cab. Anything within this 4.5 meter range is a blind spot for the driver.
A score of five stars represents the best level of visibility. Drivers in a five star Direct Vision Standard vehicle will have good direct vision and will be able to see a person, cyclist, or other motorist positioned directly adjacent to the cab.
HOW MANY STARS DO I NEED?
From 1 March 2021 HGV operators of all vehicles above 12 tonnes were required to have at least a one star DSV rating before entering the Greater London area. And, from 2024 the Transport for London authority will require drivers will need to have a three star rating for any vehicle entering the region.
This gives drivers time to adjust their cab, make the required safety changes required, and boost their DSV star rating. The Direct Vision Standards for HGV vehicles are part of the London Mayor's Vision Zero plan to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries in the London transport area by 2041.
DVS SAFE SYSTEM
If your vehicle does not meet the minimum DVS star rating then you will have to implement a Safe System. This involves adding a range of safety features and equipment to boost vehicle safety and protect other road users around you. You must implement the safe system to be eligible for a DVS safety permit. More on this below.
HGV MANUFACTURER CONTACT DETAILS UK
If you need to contact the manufacturer of your HGV, check the list below for details. We've included the most popular HGV manufacturers for your convenience.
- DAF: +44 (0)1844 261111
- Dennis Eagle: www.dennis-eagle.co.uk/USV
- MAN (sales): +44 (0)1793 448000 - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Renault (engineering): +44 (0)1926 401777 - DVS@renault-trucks.com
- Scania (engineering): +44 (0)1908 210 210 - email@example.com
- Volvo (sales): +44 (0)1926 401 777 - Dvs@volvo.com
- Mercedes: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Iveco Product (engineering): email@example.com
HOW DO I IMPLEMENT A DVS SAFE SYSTEM?
If your vehicle does not meet the DVS star rating requirements you will need to implement some safety changes to boost visibility from your HGV cab. Failure to implement a DVS safe system and obtain a safety permit may result in a hefty fine if you enter the London area.
A safe system is a series of modifications that can be made to your vehicle to reduce the danger of limited visibility from the cab. If your vehicle has scored a zero star DVS rating, you will need to implement all the safety features and equipment below.
1: INDIRECT VISION ENHANCEMENT
To improve indirect vision, and help drivers see near the vehicle
- Class V and VI mirrors
- A fully operational camera monitoring system
- A sensor system with driver alerts
2: MANOEUVRE WARNING SYSTEM
To warn road users of intended maneuvers
- An audible vehicle maneuvering warning for left turns (or right turns if the vehicle is left-hand drive)
- Warning signage
3: IMPACT PROTECTION
To minimise the physical impact of a hazard
- Side-underrun protection
HOW DO I APPLY FOR A DVS SAFETY PERMIT?
Drivers of HGV vehicles should apply for a DSV safety permit as soon as possible if they plan to travel in the Greater London area. Applying for a permit is straight forward and there is no application fee.
Vehicle manufacturers hold a record of the DSV rating for each HGV vehicle. You can contact your vehicle manufacturer to get your rating. Alternatively, you can check your DVS rating using the Transport for London website – all you need is your vehicle number plate.
Just head over to Permit Application and enter your number plate into the search box. Check your star rating and find out if you comply. You can then apply for your DVS safety permit.
WHERE DID THE DVS SYSTEM COME FROM?
The Driver Visibility Standard was introduced by London Mayor Sadiq Khan as part of his ‘Vision Zero' plan. It is an ambitious project which aims to greatly and rapidly reduce road deaths and serious injuries in the London area. The DVS system for HGV cab visibility was established as part of this plan.
The Vision Zero Plan aims to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads by 65% by 2022. The plan then aims to have nobody killed by a bus by 2030. And, by 2041 to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries in the London transport area.
WHAT IS THE LONDON VISION ZERO ACTION PLAN?
London's Vision Zero action plan aims to eliminate deaths and serious injuries from London's transport network. The actions and deliverables of the plan address a wide range of areas of concern and include...
LOWERING SPEED LIMITS
The Transport for London authority is proposing to make 20mph the new speed limit on all roads within the Congestion Charging Zone by 2020.
TRANSFORMING DANGEROUS JUNCTIONS
Seventy-three junctions have been identified as the most dangerous in London. These junctions have the worst safety records in the Greater London area. Major safety improvements will be made at these locations to significantly reduce danger to pedestrians and cyclists.
HGV SAFETY – DRIVER VISIBILITY STANDARDS
This is where the Direct Vision Standards fit in. HGV vehicles weighing 12 tonnes or above will have to comply with the new DVS safety requirements. These standards are aimed at improving driver visibility from the cab to reduce serious accidents.
WORLD LEADING BUS SAFETY STANDARDS
This initiative will see the identification and installation of the latest and best bus safety features. These standards have been added to bus operator contracts since the end of 2018 and aim to reduce casualties on buses in the London region.
SAFER STREETS FOR PEDESTRIANS & CYCLISTS
The Mayor of London is investing £2.2 billion to help make London's streets a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists. Walkers and cyclists make up a significant proportion of serious injuries on London's roads and the aim is to greatly reduce this figure.
The Direct Vision Standard and HGV safety permit Video