DVS : Concerns Over DVS 2024 Deadline

Direct Vision Standard 2024

The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) was introduced in 2019 with the aim of reducing the number of serious injuries and fatalities on London’s’ roads. With HGVs being disproportionately involved in fatal collisions, the DVS is designed to enhance the safety of HGVs by addressing blind spots, where the level of risk to vulnerable road users is particularly high.

All vehicles over 12T require a DVS permit to operate in the DVS Zone or risk a penalty notice from TfL. Action required to attain a DVS Safety Permit depends on the star rating of your vehicle, which range from 0 to 5 and correspond to the amount of visibility the driver has directly from the cab window. The current Direct Vision Standard requires all vehicles with a 0-star rating to have a DVS Safe System fitted to meet the minimum DVS safety standards, but from October 2024, 0 to 2-star rated vehicles will require a Progressive Safe System to be installed.

Unlike the previous Direct Vision Standard, which required obstacle detection systems on the nearside, Progressive Safe Systems (PSS) require technology that can detect vulnerable road users in the front blind spots and can predict collisions based on the trajectories of the vehicle and the vulnerable road user. Smart systems should have different warning levels, from potential danger to an imminent collision, and only issue warnings when there is a real risk to pedestrians or cyclists, ignoring other objects such as street signs, other vehicles, or road furniture.

What are operators main concerns for DVS 2024 deadline ?

With the deadline for DVS 2024 fast approaching, some in the industry have expressed concern that fleets may struggle to adapt to the new HGV safety standards and are calling for a rethink on deadlines for those struggling to meet TfL’s new requirements, especially in light of the more sophisticated technology now required.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) said: “The new rules are causing a lot of uncertainty for firms entering and operating in London and we’re campaigning hard to ensure our industry’s voices are heard. Hauliers affected by the upcoming changes consistently tell us that practical implementation of the new requirements from October are hugely challenging and, in many cases, not feasible.”

The RHA says concerns range from whether enough equipment is available ahead of the deadline, to whether sufficiently qualified technicians are available to install it. The importance of using a qualified technician cannot be understated. Paul Howell, Sales & Marketing Manager at ACSS said “With many operators offering PSS Systems designed to fulfill the TfL requirements, there are others offering ‘out of the box’ solutions. There are concerns that as a result some fleet managers may well find themselves fitting equipment that is not fit for purpose or may have been fitted by a technician that doesn’t have the required skill level. This could affect the safety of the vehicle and could in fact put those cyclists and pedestrians, the PSS Systems are designed to protect at risk.” The RHA highlighted that the number of qualified installers needed to fit the equipment is likely to fall short: “It’s worth reminding ourselves that there’s a widening shortage of heavy vehicle technicians available to service our commercial vehicle fleets across the country – something we’re working hard to tackle through lobbying government,” the organisation added. This shortage, along with component shortages and the high demand for safety systems – it is estimated that around 210,000 vehicles will be subject to the new safety standards – mean that many will struggle to meet the deadline.

A three-month grace period will be available from 28 October for operators who can demonstrate they have taken steps to arrange fitments, but the RHA has called for “a reasonable extension” to the grace period to allow PSS equipment manufacturers more time to supply the sector. Duncan Webb, Fleet Director at the AA pointed out that “the new rules were only confirmed a few months ago and yet fleets are expected to comply with them by October 2024. That’s a worry and trying to do however many hundreds of thousands of trucks that go in and out of London in a 12-month window is not really feasible”.

Planning ahead and choosing a reputable supplier

Even when factoring in the grace period available for hauliers, a backlog could prove problematic for potentially up to hundreds of operators, due to the sheer number of vehicles requiring PSS installations. Operators have been urged to put in place a plan for the transition process as soon as possible, and to avoid delaying the adoption of Progressive Safe Systems until the last minute.

They have also been advised to carefully consider their choice of supplier and to seek the advice of reputable providers, who have prior experience in fitting DVS systems and that have a clear understanding of which equipment will be compliant with the new PSS requirements. ACSS’s Progressive Safe System has been developed using AI technology and high-resolution cameras, and which not only fulfills the DVS 2024 requirements, but offers the highest level of protection and safety for vulnerable road users and HGV drivers. We operate a national network of specifically trained installation engineers, working remotely and installing at a time and convenient location to you, minimising your vehicle downtime.

To find out more visit our website or speak to one of our team.

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