Those who haven’t started the application process for a Direct Vision Standard rating should reach out to their vehicles’ manufacturer by January 15th, and hand in their application at the website of the Transport for London by the 31st January 2021.
The above dates were confirmed by Emily Hardy, Marketing Manager at Brigade Electronics UK, during a webinar at Logistics UK’s recent Transport Manager virtual conference.
In her presentation for the event, Hardy gave some important tips and explanations about the Direct Vision Standard application system and its rating requirements.
From the 1 March 2021, all HGVs heavier than 12 tonnes GVW entering or operating in Greater London will need to hold a safety permit called the Direct Vision Standard. It is free to obtain, but operators can be fined to 550 pounds per day if a truck doesn’t have such a permit.
While the starting deadline of the enforcement may seem distant, Hardy drew operators attention to the fact that it can take up to 28 days for the Transport for London (TfL) to respond to an application.
This means applications should be handed in by 31st of January to make sure operators get everything back on time. Also, it can take up to 2 weeks for some manufacturers to respond to star-rating inquiries, therefore she suggests reaching out to manufacturers by the 15th January.
What is the Direct Vision Standard?
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 1 March 2021.
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; 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 will be granted a Safety Permit, with HGVs rated two stars 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.
How can one 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 you on the star rating. Then send 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 additional equipment installed, 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).
Photo credit @ TfL