New HGV Laws and Tachograph Rules for 2024

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Strengthening Road Safety

The year 2024 marks a significant turning point for road safety in the United Kingdom and Europe. New regulations and laws are coming into effect to enhance safety, improve compliance, and reduce road danger. In this article, we explore the latest developments, including changes in London’s Direct Vision Standard (DVS) for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and the second generation of smart tachographs.

London's Direct Vision Standard (DVS)

In a move to prioritise road safety, Transport for London (TfL) has announced substantial changes to the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) for HGVs weighing over 12 tonnes. From October 2024, these vehicles will be required to have a minimum three-star DVS rating or implement an advanced safety system known as the Progressive Safe System (PSS) to operate in Greater London. This decision, approved by the London Councils Transport and Environment Committee, is set to significantly improve HGV safety in the city.

The DVS star rating is determined by the driver’s direct vision through the vehicle’s cab windows, particularly in areas where collisions are more likely to occur. Fatal collisions linked to vision impairment have decreased by half from 2018 to 2021 and continue to decline, reinforcing the effectiveness of London’s HGV safety permit scheme and aligning with the Vision Zero goal to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on London’s roads.

As of now, more than 94% of HGVs operating in London already comply with the safety permit scheme, with operators building DVS requirements into their purchasing decisions. The new PSS system includes a range of safety features such as updated guidance on mirrors and Camera Monitoring Systems (CMS), enhancements to address blind spots, Moving Off Information Systems (MOIS), and audio warnings for all vehicles. TfL is working closely with the industry to monitor readiness and assess the need for an extension to the grace period in June 2024.

The Second Generation of Smart Tachographs

While London’s HGV safety standards evolve, the European Union is introducing the second generation of smart tachographs this year. These advanced devices serve as a crucial tool in promoting road safety by monitoring driver working hours, preventing fatigue, and ensuring fair competition. The new regulations state that these second-generation tachographs must be installed in all newly registered vehicles with a permissible weight of 3.5 tonnes or more by August 2023.

Furthermore, vehicles involved in international road transport will need to adopt this technology by December 2024. The second generation of smart tachographs not only records driving activity but also includes features to enforce EU legislation on cabotage and posting of workers. This advancement enhances anti-tampering resistance with innovative features such as authenticating satellite signals and internal sensors.

The integration of digital tachographs with fleet management solutions is recommended to ensure compliance with these regulations. Fleet managers can monitor tachograph status in near real-time, maintain visibility into their fleets, and access essential data for audits and analysis.


The year 2024 heralds significant changes in HGV laws and regulations, both in London and across the European Union. London’s Direct Vision Standard for HGVs over 12 tonnes aims to enhance road safety through stringent requirements, while the introduction of the second generation of smart tachographs throughout the EU will further promote safety and compliance among professional drivers.

These measures are integral in the pursuit of Vision Zero and a commitment to reducing road danger, with the ultimate goal of eliminating fatalities and serious injuries from our transport networks. As these changes take effect, they promise a safer, more regulated, and transparent road transportation landscape, benefitting both drivers and the wider community.

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