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HGV in London – What is the Direct Vision Standard?

HGV Training Centre

There’s never been a better time to start a new career as an HGV driver. Demand for skilled individuals is higher than ever, as skill shortages continue to plague the UK. Getting your HGV licence opens the door to a huge range of jobs and high-paying opportunities in your future.

Of course, aside from getting your licence, you’ll also need to make sure you’re aware of the various rules and regulations you need to follow as an HGV expert. One of the most recent changes to be aware of, is the introduction of the HGV Safety permit, and the Direct Vision Standard.

Here’s what you need to know about these two regulations, which were introduced in March 2021, particularly to those driving an HGV in London.

Defining the Direct Vision Standard

The DVS, or “Direct Vision Standard” part of the HGV rules and regulations update in March 2021 is likely to be the easiest for most people to understand. This concept refers to how well a driver in an HGV vehicle should be able to see through the windows in their cab. As you’d probably expect, the better your visibility, the safer you’re going to be as a driver.

The Direct Vision Standard helps to determine the level of risk associated with having a certain vehicle and driver on the road. You’ll need to make sure you’re compliant with the DVS guidelines before you start driving your HGV vehicle.

What’s the HGV Safety Permit?

The Direct Vision Standard was introduced by the Mayor of London, as part of the “Vision Zero” strategy to reducing all serious injuries and deaths in the London Transport network before 2041. This ambitious strategy also included the introduction of the HGV safety permit.

The HGV Safety Permit requires all lorries over the gross weight of 12 tonnes operating in the Greater London area to have a valid permit. The scheme is in operation all times of the year, 24-hours per day. The good news is you can apply for a permit for free, and there’s plenty of guidance on the government website to guide you through the process.

Crucially, you will only be able to successfully obtain a permit if your vehicle meets the minimum DVS (Direct Vision Standard) rating.

Zero Star Ratings and Self Certification

According to the guidelines provided by the government, if you need to apply for a single-vehicle permit for a vehicle the government doesn’t have information on already, and you already know your vehicle has a zero-star rating, you’ll still be able to apply. Applicants need to upload statements with their application, in this case, showing the make or model of the HGV, the number plate details, your name, and a statement for self-certification.

Most vehicles won’t be able to request an exemption from the safety permit scheme, so it’s best to double-check the star rating of your vehicle and make sure you have all the permits you need to avoid penalties in Greater London. Fines can be as high as £550.

If your vehicle is registered outside of the UK, you’ll need a valid permit, and you may need to provide registration documents when applying.

Once you earn your HGV licence with us, make sure you stay up to date with the HGV safety scheme, as the “safe system” is set to be updated in 2022.

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