Direct Vision Standard Guide

Direct Vision Standard (DVS), established by Transport for London (TFL), mandates that all Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) with a gross vehicle weight exceeding 12 tonnes must obtain a safety permit to enter or operate within Greater London. This initiative, finalized in March 2021, represents a crucial step in enhancing road safety for all users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.

The primary focus of the Direct Vision Standard is to enhance the visibility of vulnerable road users (VRUs) from the perspective of HGV drivers. By addressing and reducing blind spots around HGVs, especially in areas where the risk to VRUs such as pedestrians and cyclists is elevated, this standard contributes significantly to road safety.

The Direct Vision Standard is an integral component of the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero plan, which sets an ambitious goal of eliminating all fatalities and severe injuries on London’s transport network by 2041.

Effective from March 2021, all vehicles with a gross vehicle weight exceeding 12 tonnes (with some exceptions) are required to obtain a DVS permit to operate within the DVS Zone. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in penalty notices issued by TfL, underscoring the importance of adhering to this safety standard.

How many vehicles will be affected?

The number of vehicles impacted by the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) in Greater London is contingent upon various factors such as the total HGV population, exemptions, and compliance rates. As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, it was estimated that thousands of HGVs, particularly those exceeding 12 tonnes in gross vehicle weight, would be affected by the DVS.

What is TfL proposing?

The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) assesses and rates how much a driver can see directly from their HGV cab in relation to other road users. The DVS forms part of a proposed Safety Permit for all HGVs over 12 tonnes entering

London. DVS uses a star system to rate HGVs over 12 tonnes from 0 (lowest) to 5 (highest), based on how much a driver can see directly through their cab windows.

What will I need if my vehicle is rated zero, can ACSS help?

ACSS can provide you with a solution that contains the required equipment that will enable blind spot elimination.

What will happen in the next phase of the scheme?

Phase two of the scheme in 2024 would require HGVs rated two-star and below, to meet the requirements of a ‘progressive safe system’. These will be more stringent than those from phase one to account for future developments in technology and safety measures and to give the industry additional time to prepare for these changes. The progressive system will be subject to further consultation at an appropriate point before 2024


Find Out Your DVS Star Rating Here:

Vehicle operators need to contact their vehicle manufacturer to find out what their DVS star rating is.

Fleet Operators will need the VIN number of the HGV to hand.