The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) is a measurement of the ease in which a heavy good vehicle driver can see through their cab window and mirrors and the size of the resulting blind spots. DVS has a star rating from zero (lowest) to five (highest) for grading HGVs. Starting October 2020, HGVs are required to have at least one star to be issued with the DVS safety permit. However, in 2024 the minimum star rating will be three, and zero-star vehicles will not be issued with a permit unless they comply with the ‘Safe System’ requirements by DVS. It is a requirement for all HGVs weighing over 12 tonnes that operate or travel through Greater London. You can acquire the Direct Vision Standard from automotive technology specialists, such as South Wales-based Kits n Bits for your entire fleet!
The DVS was created to protect motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians, and other road users. This initiative is part of the Vision Zero plan, a program by the Mayor of London to eradicate all severe injuries and deaths on London’s transport system by 2041. The directive came into effect on 26 October 2020. Still, enforcement began on 1 March 2021, where all HGVs over 12 tonnes should hold a valid HGV safety permit to be allowed into the enforcement zone.
The DVS’ Safe System’ includes:
• Cameras or class V and VI mirrors that remove blind spots around a vehicle
• A camera monitoring system that includes an in-cab monitor and side cameras to increase driver visibility
• Near-side proximity sensors containing a driver alert warning drivers of vulnerable road users near them
• A left-turn audible alarm to warn road users at risk when a vehicle is indicating left
• Sideguards to protect pedestrians and cyclists from injuries
• Install warning signage warning road users of the dangers around the HGV
FORS Silver S6 Requirements
To meet the FORS Silver S6 requirements, you should have the equipment needed for DVS’ Safe System’ as well.
• A reverse alarm alerting vulnerable road users of your intention if there isn’t one built into the HGV
• A reverse camera to enable the driver to have a clear view of their vehicle’s rear (for vehicles over 7.5 tonnes)
The Safety Factor in the Direct Vision Standard
The DVS was developed by Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, as part of his Vision Zero initiative. The initiative objective is to eliminate serious injuries and deaths occurring on London roads by 2041. This is a noble cause as road trauma causes inconceivable devastation. HGVs only make up 5 percent of traffic in Britain, but between 2011 and 2016, 23 percent of cyclist deaths all over the UK involved collisions with HGVs. A cyclist is more likely to collide with a larger vehicle.
DVS for Fleet Managers
If your fleet complies with FORS Silver or CLOCS, you meet the DVS ‘Safe System’s requirements. Please apply for a DVS permit for every vehicle as soon as possible, but you should incorporate the latest technology into your vehicles to enhance their safety. However, if your fleet is not compliant with any safety standard, you will need to upgrade each vehicle to comply with the DVS’ Safe System’. But, you can complete two tasks at once while doing this.
Since the DVS requirements are practically the same as for FORS Silver S6, you can install equipment that meets both standards and become FORS Silver compliant. Improving your compliance ratings on all platforms will increase your fleet’s overall safety and display your responsibility as an employer. It will also give you more business opportunities as many companies require their suppliers to be CLOCS or FORS compliant. In essence, you should perceive DVS compliance as an opportunity to improve your fleet; you should not see DVS as a money-spending exercise. By installing a variety of safety equipment satisfying the DVS’ Safe System’, you will realise a significant ROI and increase your profitability and efficiency for your fleet.
DVS for Insurers
The Direct Vision Standard is also beneficial to insurers. Better driver visibility will reduce the likelihood of accidents and significantly reduce risk. On a broader scale, Britain’s roads will be much safer if all fleets in Britain complied with the DVS. Insurers should ask fleet managers to satisfy DVS requirements when purchasing their insurance policies. For them to increase the simplicity of claims disputes, they should also ask for video telematics equipment.
Complying with FORS Silver and Direct Vision Standard demonstrates that you take road safety seriously. It also shows that you provide your drivers with the best tools to reduce accident risks. Compliant companies will make you a good insurance policy client, which will save you a significant amount of money in the long run.
The Future of DVS
Although you only require one star to be issued with a DVS safety permit, by October 2020, you will be required to have three stars. As vehicles primarily operate on more than a five-year lifecycle, any HGV bought after 2020 will most likely need a three-star rating during their lifetime. It is much easier to install DVS-compliant safety equipment into a new vehicle before joining a fleet. When the DVS’ Safe System’ will be tightened in 2024, it will require safety equipment and technology that was not there in 2020. Vehicles with zero to two stars will require fitting with the new ‘Progressive Safe System’ from 2024 to be issued with a DVS permit.