The Direct Vision Standard

On 30 September 2016 the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, launched the world's first Direct Vision Standard (DVS) for HGVs. It was created to improve the safety of all road users, particularly vulnerable road users like pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

Using a star system, the DVS rates HGVs from 0 (lowest) to 5 (highest), based on how much a HGV driver can see directly through their cab windows, as opposed to indirectly through cameras or mirrors.

Why we need the DVS

The DVS forms part of the Mayor's Vision Zero approach to eliminating all deaths and serious injuries from London's roads by 2041. We have worked closely with the freight industry and cycling and pedestrian groups to develop the DVS in order to address the high number of collisions involving HGVs and vulnerable road users.

In 2016, 23% of pedestrian and 50% of cyclist deaths involved a HGV, despite HGVs making up only 4% of road miles in London. 

HGV blind spots are a major contributory factor in fatal collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians. The DVS is intended to help address this.

How the DVS is rated

Each HGV is given a rating based on how much a driver can see of the area of greatest risk to vulnerable road users. This area has been identified through analysis of collision data and through considering how much of a person can, and needs to be seen to avoid a collision.

The area of greatest risk is split into different zones: the zones where most collisions happen are important for the driver to see because they can take action to avoid a collision. These zones are given a higher weighting.

A defined technical measurement is used to calculate the total volume of the area of greatest risk that can be seen directly by the driver and each vehicle is awarded a score. The score determines the star rating which rewards improvements to direct vision.

The higher the star rating, the more a driver can see directly of the area of greatest risk. Five stars will represent the best, those HGVs that allow the greatest direct visibility.

DVS star ratings

How do I find out the star rating of my Euro VI HGV?
Firstly, contact your manufacturer (details in the table below) to request a DVS star rating for your existing Euro VI vehicle(s) or to enquire about the rating of a new vehicle. You will need to supply information on your existing HGV, which could include the chassis number and age of your vehicle(s).

Your manufacturer will calculate the star rating of your vehicle(s) based on the approved technical protocol. They will then advise you of your DVS star rating(s). We will also keep a record of your star rating and a formal confirmation will be sent to you once the permit scheme proposals have been through the final consultation process.

Manufacturers are expected to receive a large number of enquiries but will aim to respond to you within 10 working days.

Manufacturer Contact Phone Email/online form
DAF DAF central engineering 01844 261111

Dennis Eagle  -  -

MAN Sales engineering 01793 448000

Renault Product engineering 01926 401777
Scania Product engineering 01908 210 210

Volvo Sales engineering department 01926 401 777
Mercedes-Benz - -

What happens to my star rating if my vehicle is modified after build?
The DVS rating is assessed and applied to a vehicle as it leaves the factory, even if this is a multi-stage build vehicle to be completed by a bodybuilder. If the vehicle is subject to significant changes which might affect its DVS rating, these may need to be declared. We are working on a process to address significant alterations that impact the star rating. While this is being worked on, anyone affected is advised to contact

How do I know if older vehicles comply?
We are working with manufacturers to rate older Euro IV and Euro V HGVs which may continue to operate in Greater London area under certain conditions. Once finalised the star ratings will be available from vehicle manufacturers.

Will the star rating of my vehicle change depending on the load?
The height of your vehicle will change depending on the load. Manufacturers will calculate the average between the highest possible and lowest possible height for your vehicle type, which will be used to determine its final star rating.

HGV safety standard permit scheme

Following feedback from the first phase of DVS consultation (January - April 2017) proposals have been developed for an HGV Safety Standard Permit (HSSP) Scheme based on a 'safe system' approach to reducing road risk.

If proposals are approved, from 2020 all HGVs over 12 tonnes will have to hold a safety permit when entering or operating in London.

From 2020, HGVs rated 1-star and above would automatically be granted a permit, while those rated 0-star (lowest) would have to meet a safe system. By 2024 only HGVs rated 3-star and above, or those with an advanced safe system, would be allowed on London's streets.

HGV safe system

The process for defining specific measures for each component of the safe system has been developed through consultation with an independent advisory group of representatives from cycling and pedestrian groups, freight trade associations, vehicle manufacturers and government organisations.

Where possible the safe system requirements have been aligned with existing European Union and UNECE regulations.

Subject to further consultation, the following regulatory requirements may be assessed as part of the safe system permit application process: camera monitoring systems, Class V and VI mirrors, sensor systems, driver alerts, vehicle signage and side-guards.

When applying for the safe system permit it will be recommended that all drivers (including those exempt or not in scope of Driver Certificate of Professional Competence) shall undergo specific training on:

  • The safety of vulnerable road users
  • The use and limitations of supplementary vehicle safety equipment

An international standard

Alongside developing the DVS and the proposed HGV Safety Standard Permit scheme, we are also lobbying the European Commission for changes in international vehicle safety and design regulations to push for long-term improvements to future HGV fleets.

DVS consultation phases

There are three phases to the DVS consultation:

Phase 1

Between 24 January and 18 April 2017, we consulted on the DVS proposal and collected evidence to help inform an Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA). The IIA assessed the likely impacts of the DVS on a range of issues.

Phase 2a

The second consultation phase (16 November 2017 - 24 January 2018 asked for views and feedback on:

  • The HGV Safety Standard Permit Scheme and safe system approach
  • The details of the method for rating vehicles to the DVS

Feedback from this consultation will be used to develop a second IIA and finalise the proposals to be included in phase 2b of the consultation.

Phase 2b

The final phase (due early 2019) will be a consultation on statutory proposals to implement the finalised proposed scheme.


Find out more about DVS research.

Contact us

Please send any questions you have about DVS or the HSSP Scheme to

Please click here for frequently asked questions.