Direct Vision Standard
What is Direct Vision Standard Star Rating?
The Direct Vision Standard Star Rating is the system used to measure the extent of an HGV driver’s ‘direct vision’ around his cab. The DVS specifically pertains to what the driver can see with his own two eyes, which discounts anything only visible with the use of mirrors or cameras.
According to the extent of Direct Vision that a vehicle affords its driver, it is then awarded a star rating, measured from zero (poor) to five (excellent). This star rating is used to assess the level of risk to surrounding road users, including vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians.
The Direct Vision Standard initiative has been in effect since October 2020, which means all vehicles exceeding 12 tonnes in Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) now require an HGV safety permit to operate in Greater London.
Why Direct Vision Standard?
The Direct Vision Standard was primarily created to improve the safety of all road users on British roads. It’s part of the wider Vision Zero strategy, which ultimately aims to eradicate all deaths and serious injuries on British roads by ensuring the street environment incorporates safe speeds, safe behaviours, safe street design and safe vehicles to target road danger at its source.
Direct Vision means that all HGVs over 12 tonnes will need to hold a safety permit to enter or operate in Greater London from 26th October 2020. The scheme will be enforced from 26th October across Greater London 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If successful, it’s likely to eventually be extended to other areas of the UK.
How do I make my vehicle compliant?
Your vehicle needs to meet the minimum DVS star rating in order to be compliant, at which point you will be granted a permit.
Since the 26 October 2020, a minimum of one star has been the required standard to achieve compliance, enabling the holder to enter and operate in Greater London. From 2024, this will increase to a minimum of three stars in 2024.
If your vehicle does not meet the DVS star rating or is not rated at all, you will need to meet the ‘Safe System’ requirements to be granted a permit.
Under the scheme proposals, it would be unlawful to:
- Operate an HGV more than 12 tonnes GVW in Greater London without a permit
- Breach Safe System permit conditions
The penalty for operators found to be in breach of these rules is a fine of up to £550. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the enforcement deadline for compliance was extended to March 2021.