Brigade Electronics has launched a Direct Vision Standard (DVS) star rating checker service to help fleet operators following the introduction of new regulations in London.

The banning of HGVs with a zero-star rating - based on how much the driver can see from the vehicle’s cab - is only the start of the ambitious Direct Vision Standard for London, Brigade explained.

It believes many fleet operators and logistics businesses could fall foul of the star-rating regulations when one- and two-star rated vehicles are banned from October 2024 unless they are fitted with certain safety equipment.

Brigade’s free DVS star rating service aims to help fleet operators avoid any confusion and quickly determine whether their vehicles are compliant and if any additional safety devices will need to be fitted.

The company is advising operators to act now to ensure compliance or risk being excluded from the capital, particularly in light of the national shortage of safety equipment fitters.

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The FTA is also advising that businesses operating within the M25 apply as soon as possible to ensure they can keep using vehicles in the capital once DVS comes into effect.

It was launched with the aim of eradicating deaths on the capital’s roads by 2041. Although HGVs account for only 4% of the overall miles driven in the capital, between 2015 and 2017, HGVs were involved in 63% of fatal collisions involving cyclists and 25% of those involving pedestrians.

Against this backdrop, DVS was passed by Transport for London last year following a consultation process with road safety charities, companies and manufacturers. The standard will apply to HGVs weighing more than 12 tonnes that enter or operate in Greater London.

Under the star rating system, if a vehicle is rated one or above, it will automatically be eligible for a permit. Vehicles failing to meet the required standard will have to be retrofitted with safety equipment, such as cameras and mirrors. Even then, operators of vehicles that automatically qualify for a permit will still be encouraged to review and enhance their vehicles’ safety features.

FORS recently announced that from October 2020 the FORS Bronze Accreditation will mirror the standards required for DVS for vehicles over 12 tonnes operating in Greater London - bringing the two into line. Previously, under the bronze accreditation, there was no requirement for additional safety devices to be fitted.