Published: 13th July 2020

DVS: Act now or face the risk of non-compliance

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Richard Kay

Direct Vision Standard becomes traffic law on 26th October 2020

DVS will see that vehicles entering Greater London require a permit, and is based on a star rating indicating how much a driver can see from the cab in relation to vulnerable road users around the vehicle.

For vehicles which do not meet the required star rating, a Safe System must be fitted in order to be eligible for a permit.

Any vehicles entering Greater London without a permit will be fined, regardless of whether they meet the star rating or not.
Fines were due to come into force on 26th October this year, however, in response to COVID-19, fines have been postponed until 1st March 2021.

This extension has been given to allow the transport industry to respond to the massive increase in demand from the coronavirus pandemic, as well as disruptions to the supply chain.

However, although fines have been postponed, DVS still comes into legal force.

So what does this actually mean for you and your fleet?

As the majority of accidents involving HGVs occur when turning left, the main objective of the Safe System is to reduce these accidents and related deaths.

Fitting the Safe System to a vehicle will not change its star rating, but it will make 0 star rated vehicles eligible for the permit.

If an accident were to occur in Greater London, the operator could face civil damages, and insurers may fail to pay out if an operator has not met legislative requirements.

Transport for London have responded: “Not complying with the scheme wouldn’t automatically lead to liability in the event of a collision. Whether freight operators would be liable in civil or criminal proceedings would primarily depend on the circumstances. However, compliance with best practice safety standards would be relevant.”

SM UK’s stance therefore remains clear. Operators should meet Direct Vision Standard requirements by 26th October 2020 or weigh up the risk of non compliance.

We’ve seen a great response from customers up and down the country, taking a proactive response and choosing to fit the relevant equipment regardless of the fine postponement, and we hope to see that trend continue.

If you require any help in regards to DVS, whether its finding your star rating or understanding what safety solutions are required for your fleet, speak with one of SM UK’s specialists today.

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