London’s Direct Vision Standard – What Is It?

From the 1st March, London’s Direct Vision Standard came into force which is a significant change in legislation. It is especially important if you regularly use the M25 as part of your day-to-day operations, such as haulage from London Gateway port and Tilbury port.

What is London’s Direct Vision Standard?

The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) requires all 12 tonnes+ HGVs to hold a valid safety permit when travelling to, through or operating in Greater London. The DVS is in operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and if you do not have a valid permit, you may receive a penalty notice charge of up to £550. Applying for a permit is free of charge.

This scheme is part of the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero plan which aims to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London’s transport network by 2041. The DVS safety permit is compulsory in order to confirm that an HGV can sufficiently see directly through their cab windows. This means all road users will be protected, particularly pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

HGV Safety Measurements, DVS Star Rating & Safe System

Whilst it is free to apply for a permit, it will only be granted if the HGV meets the minimum DVS star rating. The safety of an HGV is measured by assessing the amount of direct vision from the truck cab’s window. The HGV is then given a star rating; the DVS star rating ranges from 0 stars (the lowest rating) to 5 stars (the highest rating).

If an HGV is rated between 1 to 5 stars, you can apply for a permit without the need to provide any additional evidence. 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 DVS Safe System.

However, if an HGV is rated 0 stars, the vehicle will need to be immediately altered with DVS Safe System improvements.

DVS Safe System Improvements

  • Class V and VI mirrors
  • A fully operational camera monitoring system
  • A sensor system with driver alerts
  • An audible vehicle manoeuvring warning for left turns (or right turns if the vehicle is left-hand drive)
  • Warning signage
  • Side-underrun protection

Once these improvements have been made, a permit can be applied for along with two photos as supportive evidence.

Further Safety Improvements for HGVs

The DVS Safe System will be continually reviewed, firstly in 2022, to assess any additional safety equipment that is available and could be implemented. It has and always be important to ensure every HGV is safe on the roads and at Portman Logistics this is our number one priority.

No matter whether you require haulage services from London Gateway port and Tilbury port, or Felixstowe port and Southampton port, we will always ensure our drivers and vehicles are operating safely. We are proud to be DVS compliant and if you have any questions or enquiries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.