A Deep Dive into the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and Progressive Safety System (PSS) for HGVs

As we gear up for the full implementation of the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) on the 28th of October this year, Transport and Fleet Managers must ensure they are well-prepared for the changes ahead. If your responsibilities encompass overseeing a fleet of trucks weighing over 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight, then this regulation directly impacts you. The time to act is now as waiting could lead to significant repercussions, including hefty Penalty Charge Notices of up to £550.

Understanding the Direct Vision Standard (DVS)
The DVS is a pivotal component of the Mayor of London’s ambitious ‘Vision Zero’ plan, which aims to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London’s roads by 2041. The standard revolves around the concept of direct vision – essentially, how much an HGV driver can see through their cab windscreen and windows, particularly concerning vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, and motorbikes.

The DVS employs a star rating system, ranging from zero to five stars, with zero indicating poor direct vision and five representing excellent visibility. From the 28th of October 2024 onwards, all Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) must achieve a minimum three-star rating to comply with the standard. This means that Transport and Fleet Managers must ensure their fleet meets these requirements to operate legally within London.

The Progressive Safety System (PSS)
In conjunction with the DVS, the Progressive Safety System (PSS) offers a comprehensive approach to enhancing road safety for HGVs. This system incorporates various components designed to improve visibility and provide warnings to drivers regarding the presence of VRUs.

Key elements of the Progressive Safety System include:

  • Moving Off Information Systems (MOIS): These systems offer vital information to drivers when starting their journey, ensuring they are aware of their surroundings and potential hazards from the outset.
  • Blind Spot Information Systems (BSIS): Addressing the notorious blind spots of HGVs, these systems utilise technology to detect objects or individuals in areas not visible to the driver, mitigating the risk of accidents.
  • Camera Monitoring Systems: Offering real-time visual feedback to drivers, camera monitoring systems provide an additional layer of awareness, particularly in scenarios where traditional mirrors may be insufficient.
  • Audio Warnings: Auditory cues play a crucial role in alerting drivers to potential dangers, particularly in situations where visual cues may be compromised.
  • Warning Signage: Clear and prominent signage serves as a visual reminder to both drivers and VRUs, enhancing overall awareness and promoting safer interactions on the road.

It’s important to note that the installation and verification of PSS components must be carried out by competent engineer installers to ensure compliance and effectiveness.

As the deadline for full implementation of the Direct Vision Standard approaches, Transport and Fleet Managers must proactively engage with the requirements of DVS and PSS to safeguard both their drivers and vulnerable road users. Failure to meet these standards not only poses significant financial risks but, more importantly, jeopardises the safety and well-being of all road users.