Direct Vision Standard and HGV Safety Permit Scheme
The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) and safety permit for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) requires operators of lorries over 12 tonnes gross vehicle weight to obtain a safety permit before entering and operating in most of Greater London. Otherwise you may receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN)
Direct vision and road safety
The Direct Vision Standard measures how much an HGV driver can see directly through their cab windows. This indicates the level of risk to vulnerable road users, such as people walking and cycling, near the vehicle.
A vehicle can have a rating of zero stars (the lowest rating, with poor direct vision) up to five stars (the highest rating with excellent direct vision).
If your HGV is rated one to five stars, you can apply for a permit without the need to provide any additional evidence.
If your HGV is rated zero stars, you will need to make your vehicle safer by fitting it with Safe System improvements.
The Direct Vision Standard and HGV safety permit for HGVs is part of the Mayor of London's Vision Zero plan to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries on London's transport network by 2041.
HGV safety permit and requirements
Whether or not the operator considers the vehicle to meet the standards, all lorries over 12 tonnes (GVW) entering or operating in most of Greater London need to hold a valid HGV safety permit before using the area to avoid receiving a PCN.
The HGV safety permit scheme covers Greater London and is in operation 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Permit applications can be made online at tfl.gov.uk/direct-vision-permit
Applying for a permit is free of charge.
For more information about the HGV safety permit scheme you can view a map of where it operates or read the HGV safety permit - guidance for operators entering London document below.
Alternatively, please visit Transport for London’s website.
Progressive Safe System
The Safe System will be reviewed and consulted on in 2022 and will take into account any additional technology or safety equipment not currently available.
Any new equipment or technology proposed for the Progressive Safe System must be able to be retrofitted to HGVs, industry recognised and readily available on the market at the time.
From October 2024, HGVs rated below three stars will need to feature the Progressive Safe System.