Are you DVS Ready? Our 6 Top Tips on How to Ensure Your Trucks are Ready for the New Law

The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) will be coming into force by the start of next year – 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.

What is DVS?

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.

How does DVS work?

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.

When will this law be enforced?

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 at the earliest.

The start date will be confirmed by October 2020 and published on the tfl.gov.uk website.

What are the penalties?

If you drive an HGV within Greater London without a valid permit you may 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.

What can I do if my truck isn’t DVS compliant?

Don’t worry! If your trucks aren’t DVS complaint, 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.

Top tip 1: Check what star rating your truck is

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.

Top tip 2: Consider how often your trucks go into Greater London

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.

Top tip 3: Get a Safe System installed if your truck has a 0-star rating

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) which 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:

  • Class V mirror shall be fitted to the nearside of the vehicle.
  • Class VI mirror shall be fitted to the front of the vehicle.
  • Side under-run protection shall be fitted to both sides of the vehicle (except where this is impractical or proves to be impossible).
  • A sensor system that alerts the driver to the presence of a vulnerable road user shall be fitted to the nearside of the vehicle.
  • Audible vehicle manoeuvring warning that combines spoken warnings and white noise shall be fitted to warn vulnerable road users when a vehicle is turning left.
  • A fully operational camera monitoring system shall be fitted to the nearside of the vehicle to eliminate or minimise the remaining vehicle blind spot as far as is practical and possible.
  • External pictorial stickers and markings shall be displayed on vehicles to warn vulnerable road users of the hazards around the vehicle, such as Blind Spot: Take Care.

Alltruck plc have partnered with Durite who provides us with high-quality Safe Systems, which we can install in your truck. Please get in touch if you are interested.

Top tip 4: Apply for your permit ASAP to ensure you don’t miss the deadline

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.

Durite Safety System Kit

Top tip 5: Keep an eye out on big cities that may be incorporating the law soon

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.

Top tip 6: Don’t be afraid to ask for advice

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 enquiries@alltruckplc.co.uk.