In an effort to ensure safer roads in London, Transport for London (TfL) introduced the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) as a key element of its Vision Zero plan. To comply with DVS, operators of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) over 12 tonnes GVW must acquire a DVS permit. But what exactly is a DVS certificate and why is it important? In this blog, we'll delve into the meaning and significance of a DVS certificate.
A DVS certificate, more commonly referred to as a DVS permit, is proof that an HGV meets the DVS requirements. These requirements are based on a star system that rates the amount of direct view a driver has from the vehicle’s cab. Vehicles with a rating of 0 will need to implement additional safety measures, called the Safe System, to qualify for the permit.
The DVS certificate is issued by TfL after a successful application and is valid for up to five years. Once obtained, it must be presented during annual vehicle inspections and when entering the Greater London area.
Now that we understand the DVS meaning, let's explore the importance of a DVS certificate.
Legal Compliance: As of March 2021, any HGV over 12 tonnes GVW driven in Greater London must have a DVS certificate. Failure to comply can result in hefty daily fines.
Road Safety: The DVS is fundamentally about road safety. It aims to protect vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists by reducing blind spots in HGVs. A DVS certificate signifies that your vehicle meets the safety standard aimed at saving lives.
Reputation: In the logistics and transport industry, reputation matters. Being DVS compliant not only shows your commitment to road safety but also positions your company as a responsible operator.
Applying for a DVS certificate involves the following steps:
Check if the DVS applies to your vehicle: DVS applies to HGVs over 12 tonnes GVW including goods vehicles, breakdown and recovery vehicles, and motor caravans.
Understand your vehicle's DVS rating: You can check your vehicle's star rating using TfL’s online checker. If your vehicle has a star rating of 0, you will need to make some enhancements based on the Safe System requirements to be compliant.
Apply online: The application process is straightforward and is done via the TfL website. You'll need to provide details about your vehicle and the safety measures implemented. If approved, you'll receive your DVS certificate electronically.
A DVS certificate is more than just a piece of paper; it is a commitment to safer roads and a testament to responsible vehicle operation. As an HGV operator, understanding the importance of this certificate is the first step to ensuring you are part of the solution in making London’s roads safer.