lorry driving on empty london road

How to Check Your Vehicle’s DVS Rating

In our latest blog, we dive into the essence of the DVS, its star rating system, enforcement zones, compliance measures, and how to enhance your vehicle’s rating.

In an era where road safety is paramount, understanding and adhering to standards that ensure the well-being of all road users is crucial.

Among these standards, the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) plays a significant role, especially in urban areas where heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and pedestrians share close quarters.

In our latest blog, we dive into the essence of the DVS, its star rating system, enforcement zones, compliance measures, and how to enhance your vehicle’s rating.

lorry driving on empty london road

What is the Direct Vision Standard and Progressive Safe System?

The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) is an innovative approach aimed at reducing road accidents involving heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and vulnerable road users (VRUs) such as cyclists and pedestrians. It evaluates and rates vehicles based on the driver’s direct line of sight from the cab, without the aid of mirrors or cameras.

This initiative is complemented by the Progressive Safe System, which mandates additional safety measures for HGVs, ensuring even those with a low direct vision score can operate safely in urban environments.

What is the Direct Vision Standard Star Rating?

At the core of the DVS is its star rating system, which ranks HGVs on a scale from zero to five stars. This rating reflects the level of visibility the driver has directly from the vehicle’s cab.

dvs star rating scale

A higher star rating indicates better direct visibility of vulnerable road users, which significantly reduces the risk of accidents. Vehicles with a higher rating are considered safer for urban roads, where interactions with pedestrians and cyclists are frequent.

Where is the DVS Enforced?

Currently, the DVS is primarily enforced in Greater London, as part of the city’s broader Safe System approach to road safety. The standard is a key component of London’s commitment to eliminate all road traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2041.

Vehicles operating in London that do not meet the minimum DVS requirements are subject to enforcement actions, including fines.

How to Meet the New DVS Regulations

Previously, a one-star rating was considered sufficient to receive an HGV Safety Permit under the DVS. But to meet the new DVS requirements that come into play on Monday 28th October 2024, new HGV Safety Permits will be needed for all vehicles rated under 3 stars travelling into London, even if the vehicle already has one that meets the current DVS requirements.

To acquire a permit, those vehicles must implement a system of updated safety features – the Progressive Safe System – which must include two new technologies:

  1. A blind spot information system
  2. A moving off information system

These new technologies, along with the existing requirements, are designed to compensate for the lack of direct vision.

What is the HGV Safety Permit?

The HGV Safety Permit is part of the DVS scheme and is mandatory for all HGVs 12 tonnes and over entering or operating in Greater London. This permit certifies that the vehicle meets the minimum DVS star rating or has the required Safe System measures in place.

Failure to obtain this permit can result in significant fines.

everything you need to know about the new requirements for tfl direct vision standards

How to Check Your DVS Star Rating

Checking your vehicle’s DVS star rating is straightforward. Vehicle owners can visit the Transport for London (TfL) website and enter their vehicle details, including the make, model, and registration number.

TfL provides a comprehensive database that allows owners to find out their vehicle’s DVS rating and understand the necessary steps to comply with the DVS requirements.

How to Improve Your DVS Star Rating:

Each vehicle’s basic star rating is issued by the manufacturer, and cannot be changed. It can only be enhanced by installing supporting hardware that improves a driver’s direct range of vision to meet the newer Progressive Safe System standard.

Installing a multi-camera system is a recognised method to enhance indirect vision, thereby compensating for direct vision shortcomings. These systems provide the driver with a comprehensive view of the vehicle’s surroundings, including blind spots. Although these improvements do not directly increase the star rating, they are vital components of the Safe System, enabling vehicles with low direct vision scores to operate safely in DVS-enforced areas.

The Direct Vision Standard is a key initiative in improving road safety in urban environments. By understanding and adhering to the DVS requirements, vehicle owners and operators can significantly contribute to reducing road traffic accidents involving HGVs and vulnerable road users.

And with the right information and upgrades, such as the adoption of multi-camera systems, compliance is not only achievable but also a step toward a safer urban future.

Get Ready for the Direct Vision Standard (DVS)

To get started today, or if you just want to find out more about the DVS, contact us or reach out to your account manager for more information.

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