Traffic Safety Regulations – Is Your HGV-Fleet DVS-Ready?

Ian Wood, Managing Director at Simplytrak, explains what fleet operators need in order to get their Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) compliant-ready.


Ian Wood, Managing Director at Simplytrak, explains what fleet operators need in order to get their Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) compliant-ready.

What does Vision Zero mean for fleet operators?

From October 2020, all heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) over twelve tons operating in Greater London will need to abide by new Driver Vision Standard (DVS). This is designed to stop deaths caused by lorry blind spots. Like most regulations, it is slightly complicated by exemptions. However, rules will be rigorously enforced whenever vehicles enter the capital. Whilst these regulations are designed for London now, you can expect them to be rolled out across the country.

Operators should not wait until the last minute to make vehicles compliant. Acting now is in the interests of the whole industry and not just for vehicles London bound or based. Every HGV operator in the country should invest a relatively small amount in maximizing the safety of their fleet – and then promote the fact that they have done so.

Fleet operators everywhere can look upon DVS compliance as an investment in both safety and marketing. Being at the top end of the safety ladder is good for business, something to shout about and simply sound business practice.

What do the regulations demand?

All qualifying HGV’s operators must apply for a free star rating for each vehicle in the fleet. This will need to be done prior to operating in Greater London after 26 October 2020. Enforcement will commence immediately on that date. New vehicles will likely have a rating from the manufacturer although operators will still need to apply for the permit.

How can operators apply and what happens afterwards?

All fleet operators must apply through the Transport for London (TfL) website. Operators will enter vehicle details and add pictures of any post-manufacture safety equipment added to comply with the regulations. TfL will issue a star rating. If the rating is zero then the operator will have to upgrade the vehicle to comply before the deadline. If rated 1 then it is good to go until 2024 when the minimum rating increases to 3. TfL will issue a 10-year permit for companies with a 5-star rating.

How can fleets become DVS compliant?

DVS compliant equipment includes vehicle safety cameras, front and sideview mirrors and audible sirens. These tools alert pedestrians and cyclists that the vehicle is planning to turn. Side safety barriers stop cyclists or people from going under the side of the vehicle. Digital Video Recorder (DVR) cameras are a requirement and they must also be multi-camera systems. They must come with in-cab monitors fitted in approved areas to maximise usage whilst minimizing distraction for the driver. Side bar protection is another professional install but the mirrors can probably be sourced and self-mounted, as can safety stickers.

What do you need to do as a fleet operator?

Act now.

Whilst there is no approved suppliers list from Transport for London, many companies exist in the market to help. Equipment prices range in the market. They don’t cost a fortune, but they require professional fitting. A lot of companies cover many or all of the required technology. They can sometimes also install anywhere in the country.

While the regulations currently only apply to the capital, operating safely everywhere is part of the role of every fleet operator. So why not install ahead of the curve and slash your company accident statistics to zero now, wherever you are based.

Speak to our experts

The Mayor of London’s Vision Zero is a strong idea. The elimination of HGV blind spots to save lives is well overdue when technology has been available for some time to achieve this.

As a fleet management operator specialising in bespoke vehicle tracking and camera solutions, Simplytrak have been working with the freight industry for many years.

Given the unprecedented circumstances we all find ourselves in with the Coronavirus pandemic, it has become even harder for fleets to operate. TfL are currently reviewing the enforcement start of the new rules. However, one thing is sure and that’s that the DVS will come. And not being prepared will cost you.

We know there is a lot to think about when installing aftermarket equipment on mixed fleets in particular. Avoid last-minute hassle and please reach out to our experts for free advice now. 

Get in touch today by calling 01430 879197 or emailing

Simplytrak’s MD Ian Wood is featured in this month’s Fleet World Magazine. Read below what Ian has to say on the arrival of artificial intelligence in telematics solutions.

Different versions of the same tech

AI, ML and algorithms are all connected phrases but are in essence different versions of the same underlying tech. Whilst to the software and marketing teams this matters, to the end-user the focus should be only ever be on the suitability of the total solution provided to their business.

Algorithms can be very simple ‘if-then’ commands used throughout the software world and have been around a very long time. Awareness of them only became much more widespread as their use became more prominent when the likes of Google updates helped to create an entire industry designed around outsmarting the search engine giant.

All telematics hardware contains firmware which works on that very basis too. ‘If this panic button is pressed, activate this output’ is a perfect example. ’If this input becomes live, send an ‘ignition on’ message to the server’ being another.

Machine Learning on the other hand is often a collection of algorithms working together to perform a task or tasks without being programmed how to do so. This is more frequently used in data-mining telematics information to highlight inefficiencies in fleet use or bad driving behaviour/vehicle use.

AI is the ‘new black’

AI, however, is ‘the new black’. It differs from the above by its algorithms being able to cope with unstructured data and creating tasks essentially based on surprises. Whilst buzzy in terminology, in real terms it’s widespread use for our purposes is very limited at this time.

Business needs are individual and complex and telematics solutions should always have a focus on the end goal of increasing efficiency and safety in fleet use. The use of AI will happen soon enough. But for all the buzz, AI is still just a set of behind the scenes processes based on algorithms, data-collection and manipulation. The focus of the end user must remain on using telematics solutions to improve fleet and asset use and gain maximum efficiencies for safety and their bottom line.

Simplytrak are a no nonsense provider of advanced and often bespoke telematics solutions.

Airports are busy transport hubs. Take Doncaster Sheffield airport, one of our clients. Almost 1.5m passengers are set to fly this year alone. Thousands of vehicles operate landside and airside. Amongst the hustle and bustle, safety, security and efficiency are top priorities for airport operators. Simplytrak has developed a bespoke tracking and surveillance system – AIM – which is designed to mitigate runway incursion.

Simplytrak’s AIM system prevents runway incursions

When an airplane lands, refuelers, interserve teams, and the swissport teams are moving on the airfield to carry out their jobs. Vehicles have to cross the runway – the area designated for landing and taking-off of aircraft. The UK Civil Aviation Authority has identified “runway incursion” as one of its priorities for safety action.

AIM’s unique geofencing solution was designed with airport runway requirements in mind. The airside incursion mitigation system has the ability to set up zones at any location on the airfield. By using these geo-fences, the system warns management if an airside vehicle is in or near a sensitive or restricted area. It also immediately warns the driver if there is the potential for a runway incursion. They must stop and contact air traffic control.

‘Communication’ is often cited as a contributing factor to incursion incidents. AIM’s system uses a GPS tracking system in conjunction with a GPS-enabled on-board micro-computer that keeps recording and alerting the driver when a zone-breech occurs– even if signal reception fails.

‘Human error’ also leads to accidents on the runway. Simplytrak’s AIM system provides an easy-to-use, accessible software and hardware to minimise the human factor element.

Using cameras to identify problem areas

Airports don’t just have traffic on the airfield. Buses transport passengers and other items landside. Applying on-board vehicle surveillance in the form of cameras can provide visual record of how incidents happen.

Reviewing the camera footage to see why there have been delays or damage to the vehicles can identify problem areas. Data recorded by AIM and the cameras is digitally stored. This provides hugely valuable information to airports from a compliance perspective as well.

Simplytrak’s AIM system incorporates compliance requirements

The list of compliance checks for airports is long. Simplytrak’s AIM system and all tracking and camera solutions provide an easy-to-use digital software that both drivers and management have access to. All data is stored digitally and immediately available to analyse. Ready for the next compliance check.

Using data to change behaviour

Some airports already use telematics to encourage improved driver behaviour and accountability. They present results in league tables highlighting the best and worst performing organisations. Adding a competitive element to the use of telematics has proven to be of great success in the transport sector as well.

Given airport’s specific requirements for safety, security and efficiency, Simplytrak is uniquely positioned to provide solutions.

To find out how our bespoke solutions can help you or to request a demo, get in touch with me.

Having worked in the business for a number of years now I have heard a lot of bad press when it comes to our industry, tracking units going down all the time, no available engineers to fix issues, appalling customer service, features not compatible with their vehicles… the list goes on.

There’s also a lot of confusion too on pricing structures, what the different features mean and what type of tracker they need.

To put it simply, it’s not always made easy for the customer. Unfortunately, the confusion often leads to companies ending up with an unreliable vehicle tracking supplier. With this in mind I have put together a few key points that I think you should look for when making that important decision:


The range of features are extremely varied. First have a think about what you really want from your tracking system and what issue made you first think about vehicle tracking? This might be wanting to record accurate time sheets, decrease fuel consumption, look into driver behaviour or just know where your drivers are. This should give you an idea of what features you’re looking for. Something to be aware of is that some suppliers will offer different tiers of features with only the basic features covered in the pricing, making you pay more to add-on the features that you really need.


Prices can vary from suppliers and beware of low prices with hidden costs for installations and de-installations of the trackers. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t competitive pricing out there but vehicle tracking will become a very important and irreplaceable part of your company, so price shouldn’t be the only consideration. If it is you may be disappointed.

National service

You really need to look for a company than can offer a local service, nationally. Well established companies will be able to offer a much more flexible approach when it comes to installs and service calls. You don’t want to be left waiting weeks for an engineer if there is an issue.

Customer service

It is important to ask questions about the customer service team. Are they able to respond to queries quickly and promptly? How reliable has their service been in the past? You can even ask the supplier if they could put you in touch with other customers to voice your queries. If they are reluctant there could be a reason for this. All these questions are key for ensuring that you receive the very best service for your business.

Now comes the salesy bit…

Simplytrak offers all of the above as standard with 100% server uptime. After 16 years in the business, most of our customers come to us through recommendation, every customer is supported as if they were our only customer and if you are keen on price too we are just as competitive as any other tracking company, buy outright, or take a contract, whatever you want.