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Direct Vision Standard DVS and HGV Safety Permit Scheme

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The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and HGV safety permit scheme for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) requires operators of lorries over 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight to obtain a safety permit before entering and operating in most of Greater London. Otherwise, you may receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).

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What is the necessity of obtaining an HGV security license?

The Direct Vision Standard and HGV Security License Program constitute components of the London Mayor’s Vision Zero initiative aiming to eradicate all fatalities and severe injuries across London’s transportation grid by 2041.

The DVS evaluates the extent of direct visibility afforded to an HGV operator via their cabin windows. This is depicted by a star assessment ranging from zero (restricted) to five (excellent) direct sight, signifying the risk level to susceptible road users like pedestrians and cyclists.

Criteria for the Direct Vision Standard in London are undergoing alterations. To enhance the safety of every road user, heavy-duty vehicles exceeding 12 tonnes will require a three-star evaluation or installation of the Progressive Safety System to function within Greater London, effective October 28, 2024.

Explore further insights regarding the DSV star assessments and the Progressive Safety System and make preparations today. Our consultation dossier furnishes additional information concerning the rationale behind the Progressive Safety System implementation.

Details for submissions in accordance with the Safe System prerequisites.

Guidance for submissions under the Safe System prerequisites The HGV security licenses instructions persist accessible to aid operators interested in equipping the current Secure System to vehicles rated at zero stars. An HGV security license granted with a Secure System stipulation will lapse at midnight on October 27, 2024.

Acquiring an HGV security license for a recently registered vehicle.

If your vehicle’s star rating falls between zero and two:

For owners of recently registered vehicles, initiating the permit application procedure promptly is advisable, even if the new vehicle’s Registration Mark (VRM) remains unknown to us. To determine whether TfL possesses your VRM details, verify your vehicle’s star rating. Should we fail to locate any vehicle details matching the VRM, you will receive a notification stating ‘Vehicle details not found,’ prompting the submission of evidence regarding the vehicle’s star rating, as provided by the vehicle manufacturer.

If the proof of star rating lacks the VRM, you should include it along with a duplicate of your V5C log book (or its foreign equivalent), or a document issued by the DVLA confirming both the vehicle’s VRM and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

If you haven’t obtained a V5C yet, you have the option to provide us with one of the following:

  • A duplicate of the vehicle’s record from the DVLA’s View Vehicle Record service
  • A copy of your registration application.
  • An email verification from the manufacturer validating the vehicle’s star rating.


Vehicles from outside of the UK

Vehicles weighing more than 12 tonnes and registered outside the UK, upon entering or operating in the majority of Greater London, must also possess a valid permit. You can request a permit through this website using the same procedure as UK operators. When requested for your registration documents, such as a V5C log book, we acknowledge foreign equivalents.

Kindly verify the star rating of your vehicle and opt for ‘Non-UK’. If we are unable to locate any vehicle details matching your Vehicle Registration Mark (VRM), you will receive a notification stating “Vehicle details not found”, necessitating the submission of evidence regarding the vehicle’s star rating, as provided by the manufacturer.

If the evidence of star rating does not incorporate the vehicle registration mark (VRM), you are advised to furnish it along with a duplicate of your country’s V5C log book equivalent, confirming both the VRM and vehicle identification number (VIN).

Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) exceeding 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight, featuring left-hand drive, are still obligated to adhere to the DVS. Adequate installation of mirrors, cameras, and sensors is necessary to accommodate the blind spot on the right-hand side.

Regarding the mandatory blind-spot warning sign located at the rear of your trailers, the stickers presently mandated for HGVs operating in France (‘Angles morts‘) are deemed acceptable.

Cherished plate transfers

An HGV security license is non-transferable to a different vehicle or vehicle registration mark (VRM). In the event of a cherished plate transfer, it becomes necessary to void the security permit linked to your original VRM. Subsequently, upon recording the accurate star rating, a new security permit application must be initiated to verify the vehicle’s compliance with safety standards.

Should you have executed a cherished plate transfer, please inform us by submitting an online inquiry and providing evidence of the cherished plate transfer. This action will facilitate the alignment of the appropriate star rating with your new VRM.

Exemptions

A limited subset of vehicles qualify for exemption from the HGV safety permit initiative. This category encompasses specialized construction vehicles primarily designed for off-road usage, such as telehandlers and mobile cranes. The comprehensive roster of exemptions within the HGV safety permit framework is detailed in our DVS Operator’s guidance.

Vehicles engaged in activities regulated by the Special Types (General Order) Regulations or transporting abnormal indivisible loads may possess attributes hindering the effective functioning of Blind Spot and Moving Off Information Systems (BSIS and MOS systems). Should these characteristics of abnormal loads form a permanent aspect of the vehicle’s structure, the vehicle might be excused from the mandate to install whichever system is negatively impacted.

In cases where the obstruction is transient, such as when the obstruction stems from the load itself or arises only when specific types of trailers or equipment are utilized, BSIS and MOIS remain mandatory. However, the affected system(s) may be deactivated temporarily while the obstruction persists. A visual signal, not an audible one, must alert the driver to the deactivation of the systems.

If your vehicle, registered in the UK, falls clearly under the exempt category, it automatically enjoys exemption, and there’s no need for registration with us. Nonetheless, it’s advisable to verify the star rating of your vehicle. If your vehicle isn’t recognized as exempt, or if it’s registered outside the UK, reaching out to us is necessary. When reaching out, include a copy of your vehicle’s V5C and images clearly showing the front, rear, and sides of the vehicle with the vehicle registration mark (VRM) visible. We will then review your request and determine whether your vehicle requires an HGV safety permit.

Progressive Safe System

HGVs rated below three stars will need to install the Progressive Safe System, from 28 October 2024. You can find full details of the Progressive Safe System in our DVS Operator’s guidance. A summary of the seven requirements that make up the Progressive Safe System is set out below. Blind Spot and Moving Off Information Systems that are retrofitted to your vehicle must meet the performance requirements in our PSS technical specifications, and not UN regulations directly.

 

Progressive Safe System summary

Requirement 1: A Camera Monitoring System (CMS) must be fitted to the nearside of the vehicle, to eliminate the remaining blind spot at the nearside. A CMS can also be used as an alternative to fitting Class V and VI mirrors.

Our guidance states that an additional CMS does not need to be fitted where one already exists in the vehicle, or where the vehicle meets the standards set out in UNECE Regulations 151 and 159. This will apply where the same safety benefits are achieved, and may include a CMS fitted to replace mirrors, or as part of a Blind Spot Information System.

We recommend that installers consider where to install cameras based on the size of blind spot that needs to be covered and to avoid causing an external projection that may come into contact with someone adjacent to the vehicle. In many cases, a mounting height above two metres may be appropriate but installers should consider the context of the specific vehicle.

Requirement 2: Class V and VI mirrors, or a CMS that replaces the mirrors, or a combination of both, must be fitted to the front and nearside of the vehicle.

Requirement 3: A Blind Spot Information System must ensure full coverage down the nearside of rigid vehicles to detect vulnerable road users. They must not activate in relation to roadside furniture or stationary vehicles. This aims to prevent left turn collisions.

Requirement 4: A Moving Off Information System (MOIS) must be fitted to the front of a vehicle to warn the driver of the presence of a vulnerable road user and prevent collisions at the front blind spot zone when a vehicle moves off from rest.

Requirement 5: Side under- run protection must be fitted to both sides of the vehicle, except where this would not be practicable.

Requirement 6: Audible warnings must be fitted to provide an adequate warning to vulnerable road users when a vehicle is turning left, or right for left-hand drive vehicles. This makes sure that all vehicles can warn of an intended manoeuvre.

Requirement 7: External warning signage must be displayed on vehicles to provide clear visual warning of the hazards around the vehicle. Our operator’s guidance sets out that this must be clearly legible.

We recommend larger (at least A3) size signs where possible, recognising that may not be possible for all vehicle designs. Operators where larger signage is not practical should do what works best for their vehicle, while making sure that signage used is clear and legible.

Enforcement and penalties

If you drive a HGV within most of Greater London without a valid permit, you may receive a penalty charge (PCN) of up to £550 (reduced to £275 if paid within 14 days).

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