New safer lorry scheme launches in London

A new scheme for safer processes for lorries has been launched in London, which rail businesses will need to consider for logistical and delivery purposes on London-based projects.

The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) assesses and rates how much a driver can see directly from their HGV cab in relation to other road users. The DVS forms part of the Safety Permit for all HGVs over 12 tonnes entering London.

Direct Vision Standard

DVS was created to improve the safety of all road users, particularly vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

DVS uses a star system to rate HGVs over 12 tonnes from 0 (lowest) to 5 (highest), based on how much a driver can see directly through their cab windows.

HGV Safety Permit

Consultation feedback has shaped the DVS proposal which now includes an HGV Safety Permit. HGVs over 12 tonnes entering or operating in Greater London will require a Safety Permit. The Permit scheme will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will be enforced on all roads within the Greater London Boundary from 26 October 2020.

Permits for the scheme will be free of charge and available from October 2019.

Permit requirements

  • From 26 October 2020 all 0-star HGVs over 12 tonnes will be banned unless they prove a Safe System (this is the same date that Low Emission Zone (LEZ) standards strengthen for heavy vehicles London-wide)
  • From 26 October 2024 all 0 to 2-star HGVs will be banned unless they prove a Progressive Safe System

Safe System

The Safe System is a series of vehicle safety measures which are designed to reduce the risks HGVs present to cyclists and pedestrians. The core Safe System proposals include:

  • Blind spot elimination and minimisation, for example: a fully operational camera monitoring system; Class V and VI mirrors; and a sensor system with driver alerts
  • Warning of intended manoeuvre, for example: audible left-turn vehicle manoeuvring warning and external pictorial stickers and markings
  • Minimising physical impact of a hazard, for example: side-underrun protection

Driver Training

While highly recommended, driver training is not a mandatory requirement for obtaining a permit.

Progressive Safe System

The Safe System will be reviewed and consulted on in 2022, and will take into account any additional technology or safety equipment not currently available. Any new equipment or technology proposed for the Progressive Safe System must be retrofittable to HGVs, industry recognised and readily available on the market at the time. HGVs below 3-star will need to feature the Progressive Safe System from October 2024.

DVS Star Rating

DVS star ratings for Euro IV, V and VI are now available from vehicle manufacturers. Contact your manufacturer to request a DVS star rating for your vehicle(s) or to enquire about the rating of a new vehicle. You will be asked to provide the chassis number for existing vehicle(s).

Your manufacturer will calculate the star rating of your vehicle(s) or a new vehicle based on the approved DVS Technical Protocol. They will tell you your DVS star rating and send a copy to TfL.

An international standard

Alongside a Direct Vision Standard for London, we are working with other European cities and the European Union to push for long-term improvements by mandating direct vision in EU vehicle design and safety regulations.