Transport for London’s Direct Vision Standard (DVS) permit will be enforced from the beginning of March – and thousands of hauliers have still not applied.
Goods vehicles over 12 tonnes now require a permit to drive into Greater London under DVS – which is based on a ‘star rating’ indicating how much a driver can see from the cab and was developed by Transport for London (TfL) to protect vulnerable road users.
Now Brigade Electronics – which supplies technology that allows HGVs to comply with the new legislation – is urging drivers and fleet managers to act fast.
TFL have announced that the deadline will not be extended but some leniency will be applied because of concerns about Brexit and the COVID lockdown.
But operators who fall short of the star rating requirement must make their applications before the March 1 deadline even if they have not yet fitted equipment to vehicles. This will add them to an ‘allow list’ to prevent them from receiving fines.
Emily Hardy, Brigade’s UK Marketing Manager said: “We fully support TFL in applying some flexibility with applications. Operators were gearing up for all Brexit scenarios after the Christmas break and the recent lockdown added even more pressure.
“On top of this, many operators have delayed fitting equipment which has caused a surge in demand and fitter resource.
“Operators will still need to apply for permits prior to March 1 and prove they have both purchased products and have a fitting organised. Exactly what that looks like is unclear but we anticipate an order confirmation will be required and a schedule of fitment, especially for larger fleets.
“This would then provide operators with up to 90 extra days to complete fitment. We are working closely with TFL and Logistics UK to understand how we can support customers with regards to this latest announcement. “
The original deadline was October 2020 but enforcement of the legislation was put back to March 2021 because of the upheaval logistics firms and other HGV operators have faced thanks to COVID-19.
Emily added: “Our market intelligence shows many operators were ahead of the game with regards to fitting DVS.
“However, the last three months have been our busiest on record and we anticipate the next few months will be even busier. Intelligence from our sales teams strongly suggests there is a huge amount of people still unaware of requirements, despite tremendous PR and marketing on the topic.
“We believe that many operators were focused on a no-deal Brexit and delayed decisions with regards to DVS and any capital outlay, especially companies based in Europe.
“Many have not given themselves enough time and, with the recent lockdown, will undoubtedly struggle to meet the deadline.
“The consequences of failing to do so are stark. If you have not received confirmation of your permit by March 1 your vehicles will not be recognised by the Automatic Number Plate recognition cameras – and you will receive a penalty charge notice.”
TfL has announced other leniency measures, such as aiming to process multi-applications within 10 days rather than 28 and processing single-vehicle applications within one working day of receipt. Manufacturers will also be issuing star rating certificates for new vehicles which will further speed up the process.
TfL says DVS will be key to eliminating death and serious injuries in the capital and its data shows that HGVs are disproportionately involved in fatal collisions.
Between 2018 and 2020, HGVs were involved in 41 per cent of collisions where people cycling were killed and 19 per cent of collisions where a pedestrian was killed.
Brigade, which has been at the forefront of the vehicle safety market since 1976 when it introduced the reversing alarm into the UK, has created a handy web page with easy-to-follow instructions on applying for a DVS permit and can assist customers to obtain their star rating.