All you need to know about the direct vision standard and HGV safety permit
From 1st March 2021 (postponed from October 2020 due to COVID), all goods vehicles over 12 tonnes will require a permit to drive into Greater London. This includes vehicles from outside of the UK.
Enforced by Transport for London (TfL), the legislation is the first of its kind and forms part of the Vision Zero Action Plan. Vision Zero is a strategy aiming to eradicate deaths and serious injuries from London’s transport network by 2041.
The DVS is based on a ‘star rating’, measuring how much a driver can see from their cab windows in relation to other road users (and thus indicates the level of risk).
How will the star rating work?
The vehicle manufacturer will issue a star rating between 0-5 for your vehicle. This rating is based on how the vehicle left the production line and will not take into account any aftermarket safety systems that have been fitted
Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) that do not meet the minimum requirement of one star need to comply with the Safe System, which requires the installation of extra devices for indirect vision (similar to FORS & CLOCS specifications). Complying with the Safe System will not alter the vehicle’s star rating but will permit you to drive into Greater London. It’s worth noting that by 2024 DVS minimum star requirements will increase to three stars.
How will the scheme be enforced?
The scheme will be implemented by a decriminalised Traffic Regulation Order, meaning a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) can be issued. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras will detect a vehicle which will be checked with TfL’s permit database.
Operators and hauliers without a valid permit may be issued a PCN of £550 and £130 for the driver, even if the vehicle is five star rated, every time the vehicle enters Greater London.