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 over 12 tonnes 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.

The DVS forms part of a proposed HGV Safety Permit which, if approved, will require all HGVs over 12 tonnes entering or operating in Greater London to hold a safety permit from 26 October 2020.

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.

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. We have worked closely with the freight industry, vehicle manufacturers and cycling and pedestrian groups to develop the DVS in order to help address this.

HGV Safety Permit

Following feedback from the first DVS consultation (January - April 2017) proposals have been developed for a HGV Safety Permit based on a 'Safe System' approach to reducing road risk.

Subject to final consultation, our proposal for delivering the Safety Permit Scheme is:

  • 26 October 2019: permit issuing commences, Scheme 'go-live'
  • 26 October 2020: all 0-star HGVs over 12 tonnes would be banned unless they prove a Safe System (this is the same date heavy vehicles will need to meet even stronger Low Emission Zone (LEZ) standards London-wide)
  • 2024: all 0 to 2-star HGVs banned unless they prove a 'Progressive Safe System' (see below)

Safe System

The Safe System is a series of vehicle safety measures (fitted after point of manufacture) which are designed to reduce the risks HGVs present to vulnerable road users. To ensure consistency, the Safe System is aligned to other scheme requirements and existing regulations where possible.

Subject to final consultation, the Safe System will cover the following core requirements:

  1. Blind spot elimination and minimisation Example: a fully operational camera monitoring system; both Class V and VI mirrors; and a sensor system with driver alerts.
  2. Warning of intended manoeuvre Example: audible left-turn vehicle manoeuvring warning and external pictorial stickers and markings
  3. Minimising physical impact of a hazard Example: side-underrun protection

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 and the use and limitations of supplementary vehicle safety equipment.

The Safe System requirements have been identified as industry good practice by an independent advisory group with representatives from cycling and pedestrian groups, industry trade associations, vehicle manufacturers and government organisations.

Progressive Safe System

The first Safe System review is scheduled for 2024, when it is proposed the minimum DVS star rating be increased to 3-star. This review will take into account any additional technology or safety equipment not available in 2020.

This will become know as the Progressive Safe System and will only include equipment that can be retrofitted to the HGV, is industry recognised and readily available on the market at the time. HGVs below 3-star will need to feature the Progressive Safe System from 2024.

For further guidance on the HGV Safety Permit requirements, see our guidance for operators entering London.

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 - -
IVECO Product engineering -
MAN Sales engineering 01793 448000
Renault Product engineering 01926 401777
Scania Product engineering 01908 210 210
Volvo Sales engineering 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 under certain conditions. Once finalised the star ratings will be available from vehicle manufacturers.

Please click here for frequently asked questions.

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 Permit and Safe System approach, and the method for rating vehicles to the DVS.

Phase 2b

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

An international standard

Alongside developing the DVS and the proposed HGV Safety Permit, we are also lobbying for changes in international vehicle safety and design regulations to push for long-term improvements to future HGV fleets. As a result, in May 2018, direct vision for trucks was one of the safety measures included in the European Commission's review of the General Safety Regulation, which governs European vehicle safety and design regulations.


Find out more about DVS research.

Contact us

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