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Everything You Need To Know About The New HGV 3-Star System


In the world of HGV (heavy goods vehicles), Transport For London (TFL) has announced new changes to its Direct Vision Standard for 2024. For a better understanding of them, let’s discuss the Direct Vision Standard and everything you need to know about the new HGV 3-star system. We will also look at how these changes affect HGV drivers entering or operating in the Greater London area. 

What Is the Direct Vision Standard (DVS)?

If you work as a HGV driver or operator, you may have heard of the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) before. If not, the DVS is a rating scale aimed at reducing the number of fatal road collisions involving HGVs and vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. It was developed by the TFL in 2019 to help eliminate all deaths and serious injuries in the Greater London area by 2041 as part of the Vision Zero plan.

The DVS rating system is based on the amount of visibility the HGV driver has from the cab window and measures the level of risk to passing and nearby vulnerable road users. As a HGV driver, you are fully aware of the main 4 blind spots due to the higher driving position. The DVS states that HGVs over a gross vehicle weight of 12 tonnes must have a safety star rating determined by the manufacturer before entering or operating in the Greater London area. These ratings vary from 0 stars (limited visibility) to 5 stars (good and direct visibility). 

Understanding The New HGV 3-Star System

The DVS requirements are updated every few years. In 2021, you may remember the DVS stated all vehicles with a 0-star rating must have a DVS Safe System fitted to meet the minimum DVS safety standards and receive a permit. For 2024, new changes have been announced.

From the 28th of October 2024, the DVS requires all HGVs to have a 3-star rating or have a DVS Progressive Safe System fitted. The DVS Progressive Safe System requirements include the fittings of blind-spot cameras, close-proximity sensors, Class V and VI mirrors, side under-run protection on both sides of the vehicle, left-turn audible alert and prominent pictorial warning signage. 

What Does This Mean for HGV Drivers in London?

For HGV drivers and operators in the Greater London area, they must apply for a new HGV safety permit if they are existing holders of a zero, one or two-star permit as these permits will expire at midnight on 27 October 2024. If you are a holder of a three, four or five-star permit, it will be valid for 10 years from the date of issue.

Luckily, you can check the star rating of your HGV and apply for a new permit if required. Simply, start your application on the TFL website. The HGV Safety Permit Scheme covers most of Greater London and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a year. The application for a permit is free of charge. Failure to hold a valid HGV safety permit will result in a penalty charge notice (PCN) of up to £550 (reduced to £275 if paid within 14 days).

DVS-Compliant HGV Hire at ND Brown

At ND Brown, we’re proud to have the 3-Star Safety System installed on all of our HGV vehicles over 12 tonnes GVW, aligning with the new 2024 Direct Vision Standard requirements. These systems mark a significant step forward in road safety, enhancing visibility for our drivers and prioritising the well-being of all road users. By equipping our fleet with these advanced technologies, we’re reinforcing our dedication to upholding the highest safety standards. 

For more information on the new DVS requirements or to hire one of our DVS-compliant vehicles, please do not hesitate to contact us

About ND Brown

ND Brown Ltd is a specialist independent truck rental and sales company of over 40 years’ standing. Owned and operated by the same dedicated management team since its inception, ND Brown’s efforts are focused on supplying the utility, civil engineering, municipal and highway maintenance industries with high-quality modern HGV vehicles for both short and long-term self-drive hire.

From our sales division, we also sell a wide, but specialised range of new and used commercial vehicles.

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