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A quick guide to the Direct Vision Standard

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Posted on 27th Feb, 2019 by Dominic Benabda

If you’re a HGV driver or fleet operator, you may well already be familiar with the term Direct Vision. Basically, Direct Vision Standard (DVS) for heavy goods vehicle (HGV) asses and rates how much a driver can see directly from their HGV cab in relation to other road users.

The assessment will measure how much a driver can see without the aid of visual information via cameras and mirrors. This doesn’t make vehicle safety products irrelevant. Far from it! Here are the full details on exactly what the Direct Vision Standard entails, and how it will work from its launch.

What is the Direct Vision Standard?

The Direct Vision Standard is a proposed initiative for HGVs in Greater London, with a current start date of October 2019. Essentially, the Direct Vision Standard assesses how much the driver can see from their cab in relation to other road users, and then gives the vehicle a rating based on that assessment.

It all forms part of the Mayor of London and Transport for London’s ‘Vision Zero’ approach to tackle road danger at its source to ensure that London has the safest streets, people and vehicles. The plan directly tackles the dangers posed by HGV vehicles which are currently involved in a disproportionately high number of cyclist and pedestrian fatalities.

This permit will be mandatory for all HGVs over 12 tonnes looking to enter London. The Direct Vision Standard will be active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.

How does the Direct Vision Standard work?

At the moment the scheme is still going through the final consultations, but after that the permits will start to become available from October 2019 onwards.

The rollout of the scheme is expected to take place in two stages, one in October 2020 and the next in October 2024.

October 2020

From late 2020 onwards, only vehicles that achieve a rating of 1 star and above will be allowed to travel and operate in London. However, 0-star rated vehicles can still get their permit if they’re able to prove compliance through Safe System measures. In other words, if they can prove conclusively that their systems of cameras and sensors can adequately compensate for their lack of direct vision.

October 2024

Once the initial phase is complete, the Direct Vision Standard will undergo a further amendment in 2024. Here, only 3-star rated HGVs and above will be granted the safety permit. Any HGVs who achieve a rating of 2 stars or under will once again need to demonstrate their ability to comply using a Safe System of vehicle safety devices.

What is a Safe System?

As far as the standard is concerned, the proposed Safe System for HGVs will be made up of three core elements. These include:

Blind spot elimination and minimisation
This requires a fully operational camera monitoring system; Class V and VI mirrors; and a sensor system with driver alerts, like those in our VT Banksman range, or the TurnAware system in our range of Cyclist Detection products.

cyclist in city

2. Warning of intended manoeuvre

These systems are intended to make other road users fully aware of your intentions, to minimise the chances of nearside collisions and similar accidents. Devices like our TurnSafe alarm and TurnSign systems for cyclists are good examples of these.

3. Minimising physical impact of a hazard

Minimising physical impact, for example: side-underrun protection such as our 360° overview. The Direct Vision Standard isn’t due to come into effect until later this year at least, so you’ve still got time to outfit the HGVs in your fleet to comply!

If the scheme is a success in London, it may well be rolled out to other regions of the country, so it’s best to ensure that your vehicles are compliant.

We’ve got everything you need to do that right here at Vision Techniques. You can browse our vehicle safety products through some of the links above, or by taking a look at our broader range of vehicle safety products.

If you have any questions or need any advice, don’t hesitate to give our team a call on 08452 873 248. We’re here to help!