It’s official. After years of planning, the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) scheme has been launched in London.

The truck safety scheme has been introduced by Transport for London (TfL) to help improve road safety in the capital.

From today, HGVs weighing over 12 tonnes travelling on all roads in the city will require free safety permits.

The permits show a star rating based on how much a driver can see through their cab window.

In response to the scheme, more than 90,000 permits have been issued to operators to date.

Additionally, a large number of companies – such as Tideway and Tarmac – have made big investments in vehicles to get higher star ratings.

TfL estimates that more than 30,000 HGVs have been made safer thanks to the DVS scheme.

However, TfL data shows that around 150,000 HGVs enter London every year.

Therefore, many vehicles will not have a permit and, therefore, be liable for a fine of up to £550.

DVS is part of the Mayor of London’s plan to eliminate death and serious injuries from London’s streets by 2041.

Christina Calderato, head of transport planning for TfL, described DVS scheme as a “world first” in truck safety.

“We are immensely proud that our Direct Vision Standard will not only save lives in London, but in the UK and all over Europe.

“This vital step is core to our Vision Zero plan to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on London’s roads,” said Calderato.

The DVS scheme operates 24/7 and is enforced on all roads in London. The safety standards are set to tighten further in 2024.

Meanwhile, a tighter Low Emission Zone (LEZ) standard has also come into force today in London.

Trucks now need to meet Euro VI emissions standards to drive in Greater London, or pay a daily charge.