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Navigating the 2024 Direct Vision Standards: A guide for fleet managers in London

Did you know that the safety of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) in Greater London is undergoing a transformative change? The Direct Vision Standards (DVS) are revolutionising road safety by improving visibility and reducing collision risks. Let’s dive into the critical details of the Direct Vision Standard (DVS). Starting in October 2024, existing DVS Safety Permits will become void, and all vehicles weighing over 12 tonnes will need to reapply for a new Safety Permit. The DVS aims to enhance safety for heavy goods vehicle (HGV) operations. We will also explore the upcoming compliance requirements that will shape the future of HGV transport in Greater London.

Understanding Direct Vision Standards

DVS is a regulation by Transport for London (TfL) to assess the visibility from the cab of HGVs. It focuses on improving safety for vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists. DVS requires HGVs weighing over 12 tonnes to meet a minimum three-star rating, reducing collisions and enhancing road safety in London. To operate in Greater London, HGVs must hold a valid safety permit and failure to do so can result in a £550 fine. If you pay within 14 days, this reduces to £275. Failure to pay within 28 days will see an increase to £825.

Since the implementation of DVS in October 2019, there have been significant safety improvements in London. Data from TfL suggests the overall number of serious injuries involving an HGV in 2021 had decreased by 64 per cent. The first year of implementation also saw a fall in fatal collisions where vision was cited as the contributing factor (1).

Direct vision standards 2024 requirements

As of midnight on October 27, 2024, all existing DVS permits become void. HGVs over 12 tonnes (Gross Vehicle Weight) must meet a minimum DVS standard rating of three stars to obtain a safety permit for operation within Greater London. Any existing HGVs over the specified weight with a star rating of less than three stars will require additional safety equipment to be installed. This new requirement aims to enhance road safety, particularly for vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians.

The DVS star rating system ranks HGVs based on the direct visibility they provide to the driver from the cab. The ratings range from zero to five stars:

  • Zero Star: Highest risk to road users due to limited visibility
  • Zero – Two Star rating: Safety modifications are mandatory to obtain the new safety permit as of October 28, 2024
  • Three – Five Star: No mandatory additional safety modifications are required to obtain the new safety permit as of October 28, 2024
  • Five Star: Least risk to road users due to great visibility

The star rating is determined by how much the driver can see directly through the windows of the cab without the aid of mirrors or cameras.

For vehicles that do not meet the three-star rating, compliance with the Progressive Safe System (PSS) is required. The PSS includes several safety features designed to improve indirect vision and minimise blind spots.

Safety systems:

  1. Camera Monitoring System (CMS): Cameras must be fitted to cover blind spots.
  1. Blind Spot Information System (BSIS): This system must ensure full coverage down the nearside of the vehicle.
  2. Moving Off Information System (MOIS): Sensors must be installed at the front to detect vulnerable road users.

Additional safety requirements:

  1. Class V and VI Mirrors: Alternatively, a CMS that replaces these mirrors can be used.
  2. Side Under-Run Protection: Must be fitted to both sides of the vehicle.
  3. Audible Warnings: To alert road users when the vehicle is turning.

If your fleet is in the period of transitioning but will not make the 28th October deadline, then there is a grace period of 3 months provided. To quality provide evidence that you have scheduled the installation of the PSS to take place after October 28, 2024, but before January 31, 2025, by the current grace period.

How to check and improve your fleet’s DVS rating

Using the online DVS checker, fleet managers can verify their vehicles’ Direct Vision Standard (DVS) ratings. This tool requires the vehicle’s registration number to display its current star rating. It’s essential to ensure all fleet vehicles meet necessary safety standards, especially in areas with strict DVS regulations such as London.

Maintaining up-to-date records of each vehicle’s rating is crucial for planning required upgrades ahead of the October deadline.

The importance of early preparation

Preparing early for 2024 DVS compliance is vital to avoid disruptions. Conduct a fleet audit to check each vehicle’s DVS rating and identify needed upgrades. Consult DVS experts for guidance on improvements like camera systems or sensors. Early action ensures smooth compliance, operational efficiency and road safety, showcasing your commitment to safety and regulations.

Ensure DVS compliance with Webfleet

In conclusion, the 2024 amendments to the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) represent a significant step in enhancing road safety for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) in Greater London. Fleet managers must now navigate these changes by ensuring their vehicles meet the new minimum three-star DVS rating or implement the necessary safety modifications. By proactively adapting to these standards, fleet managers can contribute to a safer, more efficient transport environment in London.

Webfleet supports fleet operators through extensive partner integrations, offering a range of trusted solutions that enhance telematics and safety features. Our award-winning platform enables seamless integration of cameras, active monitoring sensors, vehicle checks, and telematics, all under one roof.

A crucial aspect of DVS compliance is identifying vehicle movements in and out of DVS zones. Webfleet’s geo-fencing capabilities allow operators to monitor these movements, enabling them to take appropriate action and ensure compliance.

Discover more about how Webfleet can help you navigate DVS compliance.

Steven Lewis
As Webfleet Corporate Sales Manager UKI for Bridgestone Mobility Solutions, Steven Lewis has more than 14 years of experience in the telematics industry. Working on an international scale, he has supported Webfleet as a Sales Engineer in UKI and later Australia. Back in the UK for five years, he uses his vast knowledge and experience to understand the needs and requirements of our corporate prospects to deliver the ideal solutions. He also works closely with our colleagues at Bridgestone to demonstrate the benefits of the Webfleet suite of products to Bridgestone customers and partners.

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