The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) covers heavy goods vehicles over 12 tonnes and the regulation is intended to improve the safety of all road users.

London is taking the lead by banning the most unsafe lorries from the capital’s streets by issuing HGV Safety Permits from October 2019. Safety permits will be available free of charge from Transport for London (TfL).

You will not be able to get a permit unless your vehicle is rated 1 star or above. Vehicles with 0 star rating will have to prove a Safe System (see below) to get a permit.

EU road safety legislation looks likely to follow London’s lead with the European Parliament voting on the proposals later this year.

Two-hgvs-on-road-in-London-representing-haulage-insuranceWhat does DVS mean for hauliers?
The new standard will require all vehicles over 12 tonnes to apply for a permit to allow them to be driven inside the enforcement zone, the Greater London Boundary, from 26th October 2020.

If your vehicles operate in London, you will have to find out the star rating of your vehicle(s). The ratings range from 0 (lowest) to 5 star (highest) and you can obtain your vehicles current rating from vehicle manufacturers.

The star ratings have been allocated depending on the vision available from the drivers seated position looking forwards and downwards and the ability to cover any blind spots.

Safe System
Vehicles with 0 star ratings and without a permit will be banned from 26th October 2020 unless they can prove they have taken vehicle safety measures designed to reduce the risks to other road users and in particular pedestrians, cyclists and motor cyclists.

Examples of a Safe System include:
  • Eliminating blind spots by installing cameras, sensors and driver alerts
  • Audible vehicle manoeuvring warnings
  • Reducing the effect of physical impact by installing side-underrun protection etc.
Going forward, the Safe System will include a consultation in 2022 to review any new technology that is not currently available. From 26th October 2024 all 0 to 2 star rated HGVs will be banned unless they can prove they have a Safe System fitted.

Haulier insurance
When insurers calculate your insurance premium, they will consider the risks associated with your business and your claims history. Anything you can do to reduce the number of claims and minimise risks will be beneficial when you come to renew your insurance policy(s).

According to Transport for London:

“TfL research shows that between 2015 and 2017 HGVs were disproportionately involved in fatal collisions, with 63 per cent of those involving people cycling and 25 per cent of those involving people walking. This is despite HGVs only making up four per cent of the overall miles driven in the capital.”

By demonstrating that your HGV fleet has a star rating of 3 or over, or you have a recognised Safe System installed, your insurers may be able to support you with contributions that will help to offset the cost of installing the equipment.

Any camera system or other safety features should be approved by your insurers and regular maintenance will be necessary to qualify for any reductions or contributions towards your insurance premium.

To discover whether you could receive a contribution or reduce insurance premiums for your fleet, call 0121 321 4600 and ask for Adrian Littler.