Direct Vision Standard (DVS) Guide

The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) is the first legislation of its kind. All goods vehicles over 12 tonnes require a permit to drive into Greater London, including vehicles from outside of the UK. If the vehicle falls short of the required Direct Vision Standard rating, operators will need to fit extra safety devices to comply.

Enforced by Transport for London (TfL), the legislation is based on a ‘star rating’ indicating how much a driver can see from the cab in relation to other road users.

The vehicle manufacturer will issue a star rating for your vehicle. This rating (0-5) is based on how the vehicle left the production line and will not take into account any aftermarket safety systems that have been fitted.

HGVs that do not meet the minimum requirement of 1 star (3 stars from October 2024) need to comply with the Progressive Safe System (PSS) which requires the installation of extra devices for indirect vision (similar to FORS & CLOCS specifications) to alert drivers to vulnerable road users who are in a vehicle’s blind spot. Complying with the DVS Safe System will not alter the vehicle’s star rating but will permit you to drive into Greater London.

Where in London is the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) enforceable?

The Direct Vision Standard enforcement zone covers all of Greater London.

 Our Direct Vision Standard (DVS) map below outlines the area of London where the regulation is in force and where permits are compulsory. Don’t forget this will apply to all vehicles weighing more than 12 tonnes, whether they are from the UK or travelling into London from overseas.

Direct Vision Standard (DVS) London zone map

How long will the permit last?

The duration of the HGV Safety Permit depends on whether the vehicle meets the minimum DVS requirements or if it was granted subject to the DVS Safe System:

  • The permits of vehicles rated 1 or 2 stars or those that have qualified on the DVS Safe System will expire at the end of 25th October 2024. From October 2024, these vehicles will need to reapply for a 10-year permit under the DVS Progressive Safe System.
  • The permits of vehicles 3, 4 or 5 stars will expire at the end of 25th October 2030 or ten years after the application date if granted later than 26th October 2020 (whichever is the later).

Find out more information on how to apply for a DVS permit.

Enforcement

The scheme will be implemented by a decriminalised Traffic Regulation Order, meaning a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) can be issued. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras will detect a vehicle which will be checked with TfL’s permit database. Operators/hauliers without a permit may be issued a PCN of £550 and £130 for the driver, even if the vehicle is 5 star rated, every time the vehicle enters Greater London.

How to apply

The permit is free of charge and there is no requirement to display anything in the vehicle. To apply for a permit you need access to the TfL online application form which you can find here: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/dvs-safety-permit-application/

 

All HGVs need a star rating which can only be obtained by contacting the manufacturer. There is no published list available. The rating (0-5) will be based on how the vehicle left the production line and will not take into account any aftermarket safety systems that have been fitted.

To obtain a star rating you will need the VIN number of the HGV.

Alternatively, Brigade can help you to find out your DVS Star Rating.

For a 0, 1 or 2 star rating, proceed to step 2.

For a 3, 4 or 5 star rating, proceed to step 3.

Vehicles which are 0 star rated must comply with the DVS Safe System. From October 2024, all vehicles that are 0, 1 and 2 star rated must comply with the updated DVS Progressive Safe System, which requires the fitting of extra devices. Proof of installation must be supplied to TfL when you apply for your permit. It is also worth noting that if the vehicle is required on certain sites, the FORS and CLOCS specification may be enforced.

HGVs that are 1-5 star rated will automatically be eligible for a permit until October 2024, but will still need to apply.

  • For vehicles with a star rating of 1-2, your permit will be valid until 25th October 2024. After this date, 1 and 2 star rated vehicles will need to comply with the DVS Progressive Safe System and reapply for a permit. Proof of installation must be supplied to TFL with the application.
  • For vehicles with a star rating of 3-5, your permit will be valid until 25th October 2030 or 10 years (whichever is later).
  • Vehicles that have a 0 star rating, but have complied with the DVS Safe System, will be issued with a permit valid until 25th October 2024. After this date, 0 rated vehicles will need to update their devices in line with the new requirements of the DVS Progressive Safe System. Proof of installation must be supplied to TFL with the application.

How do I find out what my DVS Star Rating is?

Vehicle operators need to contact their vehicle manufacturer to find out what their DVS star rating is. There is currently no published list available. Operators will need the VIN number of the HGV to hand.

ManufacturerEmail/Online Form
DAF[email protected]
Dennis Eaglewww.dennis-eagle.co.uk/USV
MAN[email protected]
Renault[email protected]
Scania[email protected]
Volvo[email protected]
Mercedes-Benz[email protected]
Iveco[email protected]

If the vehicle has 0 stars the operator will need to meet the requirements of the DVS Safe System to be eligible for the permit. From October 2024, all vehicles rated 0, 1 and 2 stars will need to comply with the DVS Progressive Safe System, which requires vehicles to be fitted with certain devices. A full breakdown of the devices required to meet these conditions is below.

If you are unsure what your DVS star rating is or whether you comply, Brigade offers a free DVS star rating service to obtain that information for you.

Simply provide us with your vehicle manufacturer, vehicle type, registration and chassis number and let Brigade take care of the rest.

What to do if your vehicle is 0, 1 or 2 star rated

Get ready for the DVS Progressive Safe System changes!

Since DVS was introduced, all 0 rated vehicles have had to comply with the DVS Safe System in order to qualify for a permit. However, from October 2024 this will be changing. All vehicles rated 0, 1 and 2 stars will now need to comply and update their vehicles with the new DVS Progressive Safe System requirements.

What are the current requirements for the DVS Safe System?

If your vehicle is 0 star rated, you must comply with the requirements of the DVS Safe System. This is a series of vehicle safety measures which aim to improve the overall safety of the HGV and aid indirect vision. Complying with the DVS Safe System will not alter a vehicle’s star rating, but it will permit it to be driven in Greater London.

Here at Brigade, we have created a specially compiled DVS Safe System Kits to help streamline the process for companies.

The following devices are required to comply with the current DVS Safe System:

  • Class V mirror fitted to the nearside of the vehicle
  • Class VI mirror fitted to the front of the vehicle
  • Side under-run protection fitted to both sides of the vehicle except where this is impractical or proves to be impossible. See TfL website for exemptions.
  • External pictorial stickers and markings shall we displayed on vehicles to warn vulnerable road users of the hazards around the vehicle
  • A sensor system that alerts the driver to the presence of a vulnerable road user fitted to the nearside of the vehicle
  • Audible vehicle manoeuvring warning to warn vulnerable road users when a vehicle is turning left
  • A fully operational camera monitoring system fitted to the nearside of the vehicle

How Brigade can help

Brigade Electronics has a range of products to help operators meet the requirements of various specifications including the safe system for the Direct Vision Standard (DVS). Brigade’s team of experts works closely with road safety associations and charities to provide the best and most up-to-date advice. Interpreting various specifications and understanding the terminology can be a minefield for operators. For example, references to ‘shall’, ‘should’ and ‘may’ in the Direct Vision Standard depict whether a requirement is mandatory, recommended or permitted and transport managers can be left confused.

Brigade has provided advice to many OEM and OES suppliers and continues to work with the aftermarket to make sure that vehicles are compliant. In this role, Brigade also ensures products are fitted to maximise their safety potential.

For a free no obligation consultation on the Direct Vision Standard, please contact us for an appointment.

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Receive Your DVS Star Rating

Complete our online form so that Brigade can assist you with finding out your DVS star rating.

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DVS Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What products are required for a vehicle to meet a 1 star rating?
Q. Do I need all of the DVS requirements in order to be granted a permit if I have a 0, 1 or 2 star rated vehicle?
Q. What are the fundamental differences between a ‘safe system’ and a ‘progressive safe system'?
Q. If a truck meets DVS Star rating 3 or above, will FORS and CLOCS still demand camera systems? Or would they recognise the DVS Standards instead?
Q. If we purchase a new vehicle later this year or next year will the vehicle be fitted to the DVS requirements?
Q. Do 12t vehicles need to apply for a DVS permit?
Q. Which level of FORS offers the same as the DVS requirement – Bronze, Silver, Gold?

Product

Q. Does MirrorCam count as direct vision?
Q. If an operator of a Renault Premium truck fits a lower door glass to the nearside door, will that suffice to qualify for a star rating?
Q. What changes, if any, are required to the trailer? It appears that this is limited to warning labels only.
Q. Does the nearside camera require an MDR device as well?
Q. Would all trailers be required to have the sticker for articulated vehicles?
Q. Does the camera monitor have to be on permanently? Is it ok to use the vehicle's built in dash monitor, automatically switched on when signalling?

Fines

International

Q. What is happening internationally about vehicle safety?
Q. Does the panel expect the DVS standards to filter down to vehicles below 12t and above 3.5t, and potentially to LCVs in the future?
Q. Our company has UK registered left hand drive trucks. Some are less than one year old and have all the required mirrors fitted, but still have 0 star rating according to the manufacturer.
Q. Where does product need to be fitted for left hand drive vehicles?

Miscellaneous

Q. Is there a case for cycle lanes to be moved to the middle of the road therefore putting them on the driver’s side and in maximum viewing proximity?
Q. Is it common to fit audible turning warning to the N/S and the O/S? Turning right as well as left?
Q. Do PMI sheets need to be amended to include sensor operation etc?
Q. Will the over 12t requirement lead to an increase in vehicles at 11.99t GVW?

Driver Overload

Six mirrors, a video screen in the cab with multiple images, a window in the lower door, plus light/audible warnings inside the cab. The driver has one pair of eyes and research shows it takes around a second to look in a mirror, focus on and interpret the image, so is anything going to be done about driver overload?