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London Direct Vision Standard safety permit enforcement begins 1st March 2021

22 Jan 2021

From 1 March, TfL's lorry safety scheme will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will be enforced on all roads in the capital. Freight operators should apply for a permit.


TfL's Direct Vision Standard will play a vital role in eliminating death and serious injuries from London's streets. Introduced with the support of London Councils, it is set to reduce lethal blind spots by introducing a permit system for HGVs, assigning vehicles a star rating based on how much the driver can see directly through their cab window.


The latest data from TfL shows that HGVs continue to be disproportionately involved in fatal collisions.


"Our world-leading Direct Vision Standard will remove the most dangerous lorries from our city's streets and save lives"


Safer future for everyone

On average, HGVs were involved in 15% of all road deaths over the period 2018 and 2020, despite making up just over three per cent of vehicle traffic in London.


This means that HGVs are five times more likely to be involved in a collision resulting in a fatality, relative to their share of traffic. Each fatality has caused heartbreak and trauma for everyone involved, and each is an unacceptable tragedy. TfL is committed to creating a safer future for everyone in the capital.


From 1 March 2021, the Direct Vision Standard will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will be enforced on all roads in London. HGVs will need to meet a minimum one-star rating to enable them to operate in the capital or will need to fit Safe System measures to improve the vehicle's safety.


So far, more than 50,000 safety permits have been issued. However, there remain many thousands of HGVs on London's roads whose operators have not yet applied for a required free safety permit.

HGV owners are advised to check TfL's online vehicle registration checker to see the star rating of their HGV and apply for a safety permit urgently if they have not already done so. While TfL will process all permit applications as quickly as possible, operators are advised that applications may take between 10 and 28 days to process.


Ultra Low Emission Zone

A tighter Low Emission Zone (LEZ) standard will also come into force from 1 March to coincide with enforcement of the Direct Vision Standard. Current LEZ emissions standards set a limit for how much particulate matter (PM) a vehicle may emit.


From March there will also be a limit for nitrogen oxides (NOx) for some vehicles, in line with the tough requirements in place for the central London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).


Heavy vehicles including lorries, buses, coaches and specialist vehicles will need to meet Euro VI (NOx and PM) emissions standards or pay a daily charge to drive within the Greater London area.

The standards were previously set to take effect at the end of October 2020 but were postponed to give affected businesses more time to meet them as they face intense demands from the coronavirus pandemic.


Check LEZ compliance with new emissions standards:


On-line vehicle registration check: