Direct Vision Standard 2020 Controversial Say RHA

The road haulage association reacts to the direct vision standard due to take effect from October 2020, which could put an extra burden on haulers at a time when they are already under pressure due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

What is the Direct Vision Standard?

The Direct Vision Standard has been designed to make the streets of London safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

The Standard is due to come into force in October 2020 and affects all 12 tonne vehicles and above that enter London.

A £550 fine per day will be issued for none compliance to the standard.

This is something that companies certainly have to take very seriously.

The area of enforcement is much more than simply inner London, it stretches out to the M25 in places.

From October 1st 2020 all vehicles over 12 tonne GWT will have to have a permit to drive into the controlled area and to get this permit is going to cause plenty of issues.

To get a permit almost all of a hauliers HGV’s will need TfL’s to include recommended Safety equipment and also Cameras.

Road Haulage Association Reaction!

Forcing hauliers to spend thousands of pounds on vehicle upgrades during the COVID-19 crisis is both insensitive and outrageous, said RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett.

The RHA says that the London mayor’s Direct Vision Standard (DVS), which launches in October, is in danger of forcing struggling firms out of business despite postponing enforcement until February 2021.

The controversial scheme means that trucks entering the capital will have to comply with a London-specific safety standard or face £550 fines.

Mr Burnett called on Transport for London (TfL) and Sadiq Khan to push DVS back at least a year to give firms time to recover from the national emergency.

“It’s unthinkable that TfL and the mayor are going ahead with DVS at this time,” said Mr Burnett.

“Hauliers supplying London with the goods they need during the crisis are already facing a financial struggle for survival. 

“Saddling them with huge costs to upgrade their vehicles right now is short-sighted and beyond belief – they need more time.   

“Adding a year to the roll out of this scheme would cost the authorities nothing and save many firms from going out of business. It would be a win-win for common sense.”

Road Haulage Association

Direct Vision Standard Star Rating Guidelines

Direct Vision Standard – (DVS2020)

The new “Direct Vision Standard”, as the name suggests, is designed to improve a drivers visibility of all pedestrians and cyclists.

All vehicles over 12 tonne in weight are effected by the regulation and operators will need to apply for a permit to be able to drive in the Enforcement Zone.

All vehicles have been given a Vision Star Rating by the manufactures, this star rating goes from 0-5 stars, the basis of the star rating is how much a driver can directly see out of their Front and side windows.

Depending on the star rating vehicles will need to be fitted with various safety systems before an operator can apply for a permit.

The TFL HGV Safety Permit

ALL HGV’s over 12 tonnes will automatically be banned from 1st October 2020 (enforcement postponed till February 2021) .

To be able to enter the Enforcement Zone each vehicle will need to have a permit of approval from TfL.

The permit will be enforced 7 days a week 24 hours a day.

Permit requirements

All 0 Star rated vehicles will be banned without a permit from 26th October 2026 and all 0,1 & 2 Star rated vehicles will be banned without a permit from 26th October 2024.

DVS Safe System

The DVS “Safe System” is a range of safety measures and equipment that have to be installed on the vehicle before a permit is applied for.

To be awarded a permit you must provide proof that the Safe System has been installed.

The Safe System equipment needs to cover the following dangers:-

  • Blind Spot vision for the driver
  • Warning Speakers informing the public that the vehicle is turning left
  • Side impact barriers

The Blind spot can be covered with Mirrors and Cameras or just with Cameras if they meet the specific specifications.

The vehicle’s Driver also needs an in cab monitor with alerts that someone is in a sensor area.

The Warning speakers need to be loud enough for pedestrians and cyclists to hear from a distance of 1 metre, also the vehicle must have warning stickers on the side and rear of the vehicle.

Side impact barriers must be installed wherever possible.

Driver Training    

Operators are advised to implement full training and re-training programs for all drivers that enter London.

Progressive Safe System

The new Safe System will be reviewed in 2022, to see if any new technology has been developed to improve safety, if it is deemed important to add to the safety system, they will need to be added to all 0,1 & 2 Star rated vehicles.

DVS Star Rating

To get a DVS Star rating for a vehicle you need to contact the manufacturer, give them the chassis number and they will provide you with the “out of the factory” star rating. This will not include any additional safety equipment that you may have installed on your vehicle.

The manufacturer will then inform you and TfL what the Star Rating is for that vehicle.

View: Government TfL Guidelines


Without doubt the TfL Direct vision standard is going to put a strain on many haulage companies operating within London.

The cost of implementing upgrades to vehicles to gain a star rating in compliance with the guidelines could be a step too far for smaller operators.

Studies have shown that Road safety for pedestrians and cyclists, could be improved by implementing these guidelines.

Thank you for reading this article “Direct Vision Standard 2020 Controversial say RHA” I hope you found it useful, It would be great to hear your opinions on this please leave a comment below.