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All HGVs more than 12 tonnes GVW entering or operating in Greater London from 26 October 2020 will need to hold a safety permit called Direct Vision Standard. It is free to obtain it but operators can be fined to 550 pounds per day if a truck doesn’t have such a permit.

The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) forms part of The Mayor of London and TfL’s Vision Zero approach to reducing road danger. The proposed scheme 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.

By 2024 only ‘three-star’ rated HGVs and above would be granted a Safety Permit with HGVs rated two star and below needing to demonstrate compliance against progressive safe system measures before gaining a permit. The safe system could include specific industry recognised measures such as sensors and visual warnings. The scheme is still under development and subject to consultation.

How to get a permit?

Check HERE whether Transport for London holds a star rating for your vehicle. If the star rating is not available, then phone or email your vehicle manufacturer with the VIN number of your HGV. The vehicle manufacturer will advise the star rating. Send us the star rating of your vehicle via the TfL contact page.

DVS requirements include, but are not limited to:

– mounted mirrors of class V and VI,

– external stickers warning unprotected road users about the presence of „blind spots”,

– a device that signals the sound of other road users when the vehicle intends to turn,

– a device that signals the driver about the presence of another road user in the „blind spot” around the vehicle,

– a fully functional camera aimed at the „blind spots” around the vehicle, including side protective devices.

Image: Transport of London

Depending on the type and quantity of installed additional equipment, the vehicle will receive a rating of 0 to 5 stars. This assessment will also determine when it can be used in areas of London.

Validity and exemptions

The validity of the permit can be up to 10 years, depending on the assessment of the vehicle and the assigned stars.

There are some vehicles – such as gritting vehicles, armed forces, recovery/ breakdown vehicles, showman-1s vehicles, mobile cranes – that can fully or partially be exempt from the regulation. 

See the full list of exemptions HERE.

If the vehicle is not properly equipped and does not have a valid license, the carrier will be fined 550 pounds (the fine will be reduced to 275 pounds if payment is made within 14 days).

Also, from 26 October 2020, Low Emission Zone (LEZ) emissions standards will be tougher. Heavy vehicles including lorries, buses and coaches will need to meet Euro VI (NOx and PM) emissions standards or pay a daily charge to drive within the Greater London area.

Photo: Sam Saunders/ Flickr

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