From 1st March 2021, all Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) with a gross vehicle weight of more than 12 tonnes will require an HGV safety permit to enter or operate in Greater London.

The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) has been developed to address the high number of collisions in London involving HGVs and people walking and cycling, to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London’s transport network by 2041. The regulation objectively measures a driver’s direct view through the windows of an HGV cab.

What is the DVS rating system?

The DVS rating, communicated as a star rating from zero (poor) to five (excellent), indicates the level of risk the vehicle imposes to people walking and cycling near it. Vehicles will need at least a one-star rating to meet the new requirement; this will rise to a three-star rating in 2024.

The rating of a vehicle is determined by the vehicle’s manufacturer. If your client’s vehicles do not meet the minimum star rating, they will need to make their vehicle safer by fitting Safe System improvements.

How do your clients apply?

Fleet Managers will have to apply for the safety permit here. Permits are electronic; a paper copy will not be provided.

What are the consequences if they don’t?

The regulations will be enforced from 1st March 2021, covering Greater London and will be in operation 24 hours a day, every day of the year. A HGV safety permit is free but your client may have to pay to have Safe Systems installed if they do not meet the minimum standard. Fines are £550 for every breach and drivers can also be fined £130, receiving multiple fines in one day.

There are a small number of vehicles that are exempt, for example mobile cranes and road sweepers. Learn more about DVS here.

What are the insurance implications of DVS?

An insurer calculates premiums based on your client’s claims history and the risks associated with their business. The safer a fleet of HGV’s are, the more options a client will have when purchasing insurance. However, at present, there has been little or no indication that insurers will start to enforce a minimum DVS star rating for policies.

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