• With less than 4 months before legislation comes into effect for The Direct Vision Standard, which requires all HGVs over 12 tonnes GVW to hold a valid permit to operate in or enter the Greater London area, fleet managers are reporting that they are unprepared. In recognition of the pressure on the industry due to Covid-19, Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, announced in March that enforcement would be postponed until the end of February 2021.

    A survey commissioned by CameraMatics, asked more than 700 HGV fleet managers who have HGVs entering or operating in the Greater London area if they were ready.

    Of Greater London-based respondents, only 22.2% gave a positive response, while 14.7% said some of their vehicles were ready and 26.9% were unsure. However, more than a third (36.9%) reported that none of their HGVs are ready for the scheme. 

    Managers of fleets not based in Greater London were split along similar lines, with 20.1% prepared. Again, the highest proportion of responses, 39.1%, reported that none of their HGVs are ready for DVS.

    Overview of the Scheme

    The HGV safety permit scheme covers Greater London and will be in operation 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Applying is free of charge.

    Once enforcement starts, driving a HGV within Greater London without a valid permit may incur a penalty charge notice (PCN) of up to £550 (reduced to £275 if paid within 14 days). TFL can also revoke or suspend a permit if a vehicle that has been granted a permit is later found to be in breach of the permit terms. The new legislation applies to vehicles from outside the UK too. Safety permits are vehicle specific and non-transferable.

    Safe System Measures

    1. A Class V mirror shall be fitted to the nearside of the vehicle

    2. A Class VI mirror shall be fitted to the front of the vehicle

    3. Side under-run protection shall be fitted to both sides of the vehicle (except where this is impractical or proves to be impossible)

    4. External pictorial stickers and markings shall be displayed on vehicles to warn vulnerable road users of the hazards around the vehicle

    5. A sensor system that alerts the driver to the presence of a vulnerable road user shall be fitted to the nearside of the vehicle

    6. An audible vehicle manoeuvring warning shall be fitted to warn vulnerable road users when a vehicle is turning left

    7. A fully operational camera monitoring system shall be fitted to the nearside of the vehicle

    For left-hand drive vehicles, mirrors, cameras and sensors must be fitted appropriately to account for the blind spot on the right-hand side of the vehicle.

    Emission Standards

    Planned tougher emission standards for the Low Emission Zone will also be introduced from March 2021, at the earliest. As with DVS, the date is under review due to the coronavirus pandemic and a firm date will be announced in October 2020.