A tachograph is a device used to record a vehicle's speed, distance and driver activity.
There are two main types of tachograph – analogue and digital.
The analogue tachograph records three separate recordings by a stylus cutting traces into a wax-coated chart. The three recordings are speed, distance travelled and the driver’s activity (known as ‘the mode’).
Digital tachographs store the driver and vehicle data in a built-in memory (the Vehicle Unit) and separately on a driver’s smart card (which looks rather like a credit card or driving licence).
Since 1 May 2006, all newly registered vehicles must be fitted with a digital tachograph.
Drivers are responsible for their own records and for correctly operating the instruments, but their employer is often prosecuted when it is believed that they have not taken adequate steps to ensure their drivers are aware of their obligations. It is also important that tachograph charts/records are analysed regularly and follow-up action taken if necessary.
There are strict rules relating to the downloading (in the case of digital tachographs) and the returning of charts (in the case of analogue tachographs). For more information, please see the Road Transport website.
Since 28 May 2009, VOSA examiners have begun issuing Graduated Fixed Penalty Notices for more minor drivers’ hours offences which have been committed on the day of detection.
New Drivers’ Hours Rules came into force on 11th April 2007. The objective was to bring the practices of EU member states closer together and thereby contribute to better road safety for all. The Drivers’ Hours Rules below apply to the carriage of goods by road where the maximum permitted mass of the vehicle, including any trailer, exceeds 3.5 tonnes, regardless of whether loaded or empty. They apply to journeys that take place either entirely or in part on public roads.
There is more information on Drivers’ Hours Rules and the rules on tachographs on the VOSA website.
If you have received a fixed penalty notice or a summons or are subject to a VOSA investigation or want advice or legal representation in connection with tachographs or simply if there is something you are unsure of please call now and speak to one of our solicitors on Freephone 0800 0463066, learn more from our transport law blog or continuing reading through our transport solicitor website. We have offices in Nottingham but offer a Nationwide Service.
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