More than 136,000 safety permits have been issued to date and nearly 70,000 heavy goods vehicles have been fitted with safety measures to protect people walking and cycling since the introduction of London’s Direct Vision Standard (DVS) scheme in March.

The DVS, which seeks to reduce lethal blind spots, was introduced by Transport for London (TfL), working with the London boroughs, the freight industry and campaign groups.

The scheme for DVS requires all HGVs over 12 tonnes to hold a Safety Permit to operate in Greater London from 2020. HGVs will be given a rating between ‘zero-star (lowest) and ‘five-star’ (highest) based on the level of direct vision a driver has through the windows of the cab (and not through cameras and mirrors). 

Only vehicles rated ‘one star’ and above would be allowed to operate in London from 2020. Zero-rated vehicles would only be allowed if they can prove compliance through safe system measures. Safety permit now operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is enforced on all roads in London. The standards are set to tighten further in 2024, which will deliver even safer lorries across the country.

ACSS have full kits in stock ready for next day delivery at just £475 (Supply only) – one of the most cost-effective options available on the market in stock now. The cost of 1 kit is cheaper than the fines you will receive, per journey if you do not have the required DVS kit.

Those without a permit face a penalty charge notice (PCN) of up to £550 and since March around 7,000 PCNs have been issued. Permits are electronic and enforced by automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, and operators of non-compliant HGV will be issued with a PCN of £550 per day, which will be reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days.

HGVs are rated between zero and five star as part of the Direct Vision Standard. To date, more than 136,000 permits have been issued, including more than 4,000 to 5-star vehicles, which provide the highest levels of direct vision. Around 70,000 0-star HGVs have now had safe systems fitted, improving protection for people walking, cycling or riding e-scooters or motorcycles and saving lives.

TfL enforcement officers also carry out roadside inspections to check that HGVs are safe and safety measures are in place, resulting in some permits being revoked.

“DVS is a key part of the Mayor’s Vision Zero plan, together with lowering speed limits to 20mph and transforming dangerous junctions. City Hall and TfL will continue to take every possible measure to eradicate all deaths and injuries from our roads.”

Christina Calderato, head of transport strategy and Planning for TfL, said: “In just a few months our Direct Vision Standard has helped to dramatically improve the safety of lorries and save lives. We want to thank all of the freight operators who have led the way in ensuring they only operate the safest lorries in London and across the UK and we would like to encourage any freight operators who haven’t yet applied for a safety permit to do so. The safety permits are just the first step in our aim to ensure that families don’t experience the tragedy of preventable road collisions involving HGVs and we will be strengthening our life-saving Direct Vision Standards in 2024.”

Cllr Claire Holland, the vice-chair of the London Councils Transport and Environment Committee, said: “Improving safety on the capital’s roads is a top priority for London boroughs. We recognise the challenges posed to at-risk road users by larger vehicles carrying essential goods and services across the capital. Ensuring lorry drivers have good levels of visibility will help to protect at-risk road users and could increase the number of people who walk and cycle in the capital as they feel more comfortable doing so. This is vital for our efforts to tackle air pollution for London’s diverse communities and ensure a safe and sustainable recovery from the pandemic

“London’s boroughs are major supporters of the Direct Vision Standard Safety Permit scheme for HGVs. I am pleased to see such a positive response since its introduction from the freight and logistics sector, with a huge number of vehicles registered and upgraded to meet the standard. It is early days, but this innovative scheme will make sure that lorries driven on London’s streets are among the safest in the world.”

HGVs rated 1 to 5 stars received their free safety permit automatically upon application. The operators of lorries rated 0-star HGVs operating in London – are required to fit safe systems including:

  • Blind Spot Camera
  • Side Scan / Sensor Kit
  • Audible Left Hand Turn Warning
  • Warning Sign
  • 7″ Monitor

Several freight operators, including SUEZ Recycling and Recovery and FM Conway, as well as major projects 

The DVS and Safety Permit scheme is progressive and the standards will tighten in October 2024 when the minimum DVS star rating will be 3-stars and above. All HGVs below 3-stars will need to feature a progressive safe system that takes into account any additional technology or safety equipment not currently available.

Around 150,000 HGVs enter London every year and there are many reasons for this high number, from changing online shopping habits to growing businesses that require more frequent deliveries. Yet the impacts are clear on congestion, road safety and air quality. The Mayor and TfL want to cut the number of HGVs and vans entering central London in the morning peak by 10% by 2026 and are working with the freight industry to achieve this.