Posted: June 2020
What products are required for a vehicle to meet a 1 star rating?
Star ratings are based on direct vision (what you can see directly out of the cab through the windows.) Fitting product will not allow you to gain a star rating as this based on direct vision alone and cannot change once it has left the manufacturer.
The safe permit allows you to comply with the direct vision standard and drive into London legally but will not alter your star rating. Products required are; a sensor system to cover the nearside, a nearside camera monitor system, left turn external audible warning and a warning sticker. It is recommended that a cut out switch for between the hours of 23.30 and 07:00 is also fitted.
Do you need all of the safe system requirements in order to be granted a permit if you currently have 0 star rating?
If you have a 0 star rating you do need to fit all requirements for the safe permit including; camera monitor system, sensors, audible warning alarm and a warning sticker.
What are the fundamental differences between a ‘safe system’ and a ‘progressive safe system?
The safe system combines technologies widely seen in specs such as FORS and CLOCS to include; sensors, camera monitor systems and audible warnings. TFL have not announced what the progressive system will be. Potentially TFL could increase the specification in line with FORS / CLOCS requirements to include an additional rear camera, digital recording and a reversing alarm as a minimum.
However with European legislation regarding blind spots due to all registrations from 2024 it is likely that some of the more advanced technologies will be adopted. These include; driver distraction recognition technologies, vulnerable road user detection for front and rear in addition to the side, alcohol detection and event data recorders. Senior engineers at Brigade form part of the working group for this legislation and are monitoring the situation closely.
Can you explain what the vehicle requires for each star rating please?
If a vehicle has a zero star rating, it will need to fit devices for indirect vision to comply with the safe permit. Vehicles 1 star and above do not need to fit equipment until the progressive safe system comes into force in 2024.
If a truck meets DVS Level 3 or even 5 will FORS and CLOCS still demand camera systems? Or would they recognize the DVS Standards instead and not require the camera and sensor systems?
Statement from FORS: “We became aware of the DVS standards some time ago, so we were able to prepare FORS Standard Version 5 to include the following statement in requirement S6 (Vehicle Safety Equipment) –
Where the driver has full view of the nearside blind spot area by direct vision, such as a left-hand drive vehicle, the camera system and in-cab display screen is not required.
However, as a national scheme it’s important we don’t impose DVS standards on all operators across the UK so we’ll maintain the current requirement for vehicle safety equipment as per requirement S6. If the DVS rating proves to deliver the same level of safety then it will be an acceptable alternative”.
Brigade works closely with FORS and contribute to their working group which considers new legislative and technological developments. FORS are planning to align their specifications to accommodate this and an updated FORS spec will be released later in the year.
Why when a vehicle manufacturer has responded with a star rating & you have sent this through to TFL, are you then asked for further evidence?
The photos are evidence of the equipment fitted for the safe permit (devices for indirect vision). Photos are only required for vehicles with a zero star rating.
If we purchase a new vehicle later this year or next year will the vehicle be fitted to the DVS requirements?
If you buy a vehicle which has a star rating of one or above you will not need to fit devices for indirect vision to meet DVS requirements currently. However the star rating will increase to 3 stars in 2024. DAF currently line fit devices for indirect vision on their CF models to meet the safe permit requirements.
Do 12t vehicles need to apply for permit as well or are exempt?
Vehicles of 12 tons GVW are not required to apply for a permit. Over 12 tons do need to apply.
What level of FORS offer the same as the DVS requirement – Bronze, Silver, Gold?
FORS bronze will be the equivalent of DVS for vehicles operating in Greater London only. FORS silver is a higher spec than DVS.
Does MirrorCam count as direct vision?
No the Mirror cam is a device for indirect vision and will not meet compliance for direct vision or the safe permit.
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?
No. If it is a zero star rating the operator will need to fit the safe permit. The glass panel neither changes the star rating nor contributes to the safe system.
The spec mentions that there is a manual switch to enable the audible sound warning to be turned off during “night” hours, how do you ensure that this is turned back on again.
There are two options; a latched switch that means if you press the button it will mute until you push it again or rotate the ignition. Or a timer relay which will mute for between three or four minutes when the driver pushes it and it will automatically reset to the on position after that time.
What changes, if any, are required to the trailer? It appears that this is limited to warning labels only
Sensors are not required on the trailer.
Does the nearside camera require an MDR device as well?
Digital recording is not mandatory for DVS.
Would all trailers be required to have the sticker for articulated vehicles?
Yes. Tractors for articulated vehicles are exempt from the warning signage but all trailers used with the tractor unit will be required to fit the stickers. This means for operators who use multiple trailers, they will be required to apply the stickers to each trailer.
Does the camera monitor have to be on permanently? Is it ok to use the vehicles built in dash monitor, automictic switched by signaling?
Camera systems are for low speed manoeuvring. They can be triggered by the left turn indicator and can automatically switch off at speeds of 20 mph.
It’s mentioned that both the operator and driver would be liable to a fine? £550 reduced to £225 if paid within 14 days. What would the driver be fined?
The driver would be fined £130 per day also reduced by half if paid within 14 days.
What is happening internationally about vehicle safety?
Vehicle safety is a hot topic across the world right now. In Europe, the General Safety Regulation will come into force from 2022. All vehicles including; cars, vans, lorries and busses sold in Europe will be fitted as standard with a range of new vehicle safety features including; reversing and front detection systems, driver monitoring and event data recorders.
In Germany, the Government have been providing incentives for operators who fit a package of safety systems similar to that required by DVS. Around the world similar mandatory requirements for blind spot elimination will come into effect from 2024 with detection ranges varying.
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?
The DVS standard may not affect vehicles below 12 tonnes but new European legislation will come into force from 2022 that will require devices for indirect vision.
Our company has UK registered left hand drive trucks, some are less than 1yr old and have all required mirrors fitted but still have a zero star rating according to the manufacturer, DAF. How do we get a star rating for these trucks? What about foreign registered vehicles?
You need to contact the manufacturer to obtain the star rating or contact Brigade who provide a free service. If the star rating is 0 you will need to fit devices for the safety permit. Fitting devices for the safe permit will not increase your star rating but will allow you to drive into Greater London
Foreign registered trucks entering London will still need to apply for a permit or risk being fined.
Where does product need to be fitted for left hand drive vehicles?
For left hand drive vehicles, mirrors, cameras and sensors should be fitted appropriately to account for the blind spot on the far right of the vehicle. A right turn audible alarm should also be fitted.
Is there a case for Cycle lanes to be moved to the middle of the road therefore putting them on the driver’s side of maximum view?
The Government has announced a £2 billion project to increase cycling and walking so this may be one of the considerations.
Is it common to fit audible turning warning to the N/S and the O/S? Turning right as well as left?
It is not required under DVS or FORS / CLOCs and although it is not common, some forward-thinking operators do. It is required on left-hand drive vehicles.
Do PMI sheets need to be amended to include sensor operation etc?
This is down to the individual operator to decide but we would recommend that the sensors are checked regularly and maintained e.g. kept clean.
Are any other cities taking up the DVS Scheme?
Will the over 12t requirement lead to an increase in vehicles at 11.99t GVW?
We don’t believe so. Many vehicles are now required to meet standards such as FORS or CLOCS and may already comply. Fitting vehicle safety devices is now commonplace to; reduce insurance premiums, improve safety and reduce work related road risk.
If operators hire a rental vehicle short term will these need to have the safe system fitted or would there be a short term period where not required, i.e for hires over 28 days?
No there is no exemption for hire vehicles.
6 mirrors, video screen in the cab with multiple images, 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 and interpret the image, so is anything going to be done about driver overload?
The trouble with direct vision alone is that if the driver is not looking he will not see. A combination of active and passive systems alert the driver to look in his mirrors or camera system when there is something in his danger zone and eliminate the risk of driver error. This prevents the driver from constantly looking in his mirrors. The sensor system only alerts during low speed manouvring so it does not distract the driver at higher speeds. Systems such as Brigade’s Backeye 360 take four camera images and sew them into one birds eye view so the driver has less images to process.