How does the Direct Vision Standard improve safety for and around HGVs?

The Direct Vision Standard was introduced in October 2020 in the greater London area. HGVs driving in this area now require an assessment in order for drivers to be provided with a safety permit. The assessment is carried out using the DVS star rating.

What is the Direct Vision Standard?

The DVS is a new law, designed to cut road injuries in London resulting from HGVs with driver blind-spots. From March 2021, lorry owners must eliminate all blind spots by adding camera equipment and other enhancements to driver vision. These ‘Safe System’ upgrades will become even more demanding in 2024.

Using a star rating system the DVS determines how well a driver can see from inside their vehicle. A 5 star rating means your vehicle is fully compliant with drivers having excellent vision and awareness of their surroundings.

A 0 star rating requires your vehicle to have extra safety equipment fitted, currently 0 star rated vehicles are banned until they achieve a higher rating. By 2024 it is expected that a minimum of 3 stars will be required.

Why has the DVS been introduced?

The Direct Vision Standard has been introduced to improve the safety of all road users and pedestrians by requiring drivers to increase their visibility. Due to the size of HGVs, drivers are often seated at an elevated position and can’t always see their complete surroundings.

By introducing the DVS, drivers are now required to increase their visibility. If they fail to do so they risk the possibility of being fined or banned from driving in the greater London area.

What can I do to improve my drivers vision?

There are three types of safety equipment that you can install to help meet Direct Vision Standards;
  • Cameras
  • Sensors
  • Warning Alarms

Cameras

As covered above one aspect of the DVS is to eliminate all blind spots and this can be achieved using vehicle cameras. You can fit cameras to any part of your HGV and use a monitor inside the cabin to view the blind spots. Vehicle Cameras can help to increase a drivers awareness of their surroundings, which is very important when you consider that some HGVs are very tall, meaning a driver might not always be able to see pedestrians or other vehicles.

Sensors

Sensors are fitted along the side of a vehicle and alert the driver to the presence of another road user or pedestrian if they are very close. By alerting the driver this will hopefully prevent any accidents from happening.

Warning Alarms

Exterior alarms can be fitted to HGVs which alert road users when the vehicle is turning. Often this is only required when the vehicle is turning left and is activated when the driver begins indicating.

How do I apply for a DVS permit?

You can apply for your permit via the Transport for London website and you will require the following information;

  • Operator and contact details
  • Confirmation of your vehicle’s DVS star rating from the manufacturer
  • If needed, certification of a zero-star rating

Our range of products and solutions are designed with the technology to increase visibility and awareness and will help you get ready for the future. Get in touch with our team today to get your fleet ready.

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