Updated February 2021
The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) will be coming into force in just a month’s time – are you ready?
This is one of the biggest changes to the law surrounding HGV’s since the Euro 6 emissions standard came out back in 2014. But because HGV collisions with people walking and cycling present a significant problem on London’s roads today, the industry cannot afford to wait any longer for this change to take place – it must happen now.
Here at Alltruck plc, we want to make sure that all truck users are aware and prepared for this significant adjustment. To help you, we have written this article which aims to clearly explain what DVS is, how it will work, and what you need to do to prepare for it.
Plus, we have compiled our very own 6 top tips on how to make sure you’re ready for the new law (and to check if it will even apply to you).
If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, then please take a look at this PDF, which quickly explains DVS and covers what you can do to prevent being on the wrong side of the law.
In January 2021, Transport for London (TfL) introduced a 90 grace period due to the third lockdown, please keep reading to find out whether this could apply to you,
The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and safety permit for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) requires all lorries over 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight to be granted a permit to enter or operate in Greater London. The scheme was created to improve the safety of all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
The Direct Vision Standard measures how much an HGV driver can see directly through their cab windows. This is then converted into a star rating system. This indicates the level of risk to vulnerable road users, such as people walking and cycling, near the vehicle.
Enforcement was due to be introduced on the 24th of October 2020, but because of the intense demands the freight industry has been facing from Covid-19, this has been postponed to the 1st of March 2021.
In January 2021, TfL introduced a 90 grace period due to the third lockdown, you can find more information published on the tfl.gov.uk website.
To benefit from the grace period, operators must submit evidence from the fitter/garage on branded documentation, with details of their appointment and Vehicle Registration Number, before 1 March, to DVSGracePeriod@TfL.gov.uk.
TfL will review requests and send written confirmation of the outcome. As soon as the Safe System equipment has been fitted, operators then need to follow the DVS Permit Application process as specified.
You must take action before 1 March 2021. Operators informing TfL of a delay after this date will not be eligible for the grace period.
If you drive an HGV within Greater London without a valid permit (or written confirmation of the 90-day grace from TfL) you will receive a penalty charge notice (PCN) of up to £550.
If you enter London with a 0-star vehicle without a Safe System, you could be banned.
Don’t worry! If your trucks aren’t DVS compliant, you won’t have to swap your whole fleet for brand-new trucks or avoid Greater London forevermore. All you will need to do is get a Safety System fitted to your HGV’s before you apply for the safety permit.
If you think that this new law may affect you, or you wish to find out more about the Safety Systems, then carry on reading for our 6 top tips about DVS. If you don’t have time, click here to take a look at the PDF we’ve created which briefly explains DVS and Safe Systems.
Vehicles are given a star rating based on how much an HGV driver can see directly through their cab windows. This rating goes from 0, which is poor, to 5, which is excellent.
In March 2021, a 1-star rating on a vehicle will be the legal requirement in order to enter Greater London. But by 2024, this minimum will rise, meaning that 3-stars will be required.
It is important to note that the DVS doesn’t apply to all trucks. Some manufacturers already produce trucks that are in accordance with the star rating system and are therefore DVS compliant, so it is important to check before you splash out on a Safety Standard kit.
Even if your truck does have the required star rating, you will still have to apply for a free safety permit online.
If you aren’t sure what star rating your truck is, then feel free to get in touch with our team who will do our best to help you. Or, you could contact your lorry’s manufacturer directly.
If you don’t enter Greater London then, for now, there will be no need to get a Safe System fitted or apply for a permit.
However, if you think that your vehicles may go into Greater London, even if it is just a one-off, we would recommend that you get a Safety System fitted and/or apply for a permit. The fine is hefty, and you could even be banned from entering the capital with your HGV if you don’t follow the new rules.
Take a look at page 26 of this document issued by Transport for London to find out which area is affected.
If your vehicle has a 0-star rating and you are likely to go into Greater London, then you must get a Safe System fitted.
The Safe System is a series of vehicle safety measures (fitted after the point of manufacture) that are designed to reduce the risks that HGVs present to people walking and cycling.
Here is an overview of the Safe System requirements for 0-rated vehicles:
Although the deadline has been pushed back to March due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is alarming how quickly this will creep on you. Therefore, we’d recommend that you apply for your permit as soon as possible.
Issuing of safety permits began in October 2019, so it’s not too soon to apply for yours. Click here to apply for your free DVS safety permit online.
If your truck falls into the 0-star category, then you can book your vehicle in to have a Safe System fitted by Alltruck plc and then apply for your safety permit.
Although the DVS currently only applies to Greater London, it is expected that this will be enforced in big cities across the nation within the next 10 years, so keep your eyes peeled for more news.
Manchester is sadly already on the radar for having a high cyclist casualty rate due to collisions with HGVs.
If any of this doesn’t make sense to you, or you come across some trouble, then don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice.
Transport for London has an enquiry form specifically for queries regarding the DVS and HGV Safety Permits.
As experts in the industry, our team here at Alltruck plc are also here to help. If you have any questions or get stuck with this process, feel free to call us on 0116 402 1800 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.