Monday, June 17, 2019

New Smart Tachographs Mandatory for New Road Haulage Trucks - Brexit or Not

Big Brother Comes to the Commercial Vehicle Market as EU Regulation Adopted
Shipping News Feature
UK – A new EU regulation slipped quietly into place on Saturday June 15 which will have a profound effect on the country's road haulage industry. Despite a looming Brexit there is little doubt that regulation 165/2014 (updated by EU 2016/799) will remain in place whatever the outcome of the political shenanigans. Henceforth any new commercial vehicle with a mass of 3.5 tonnes or more (or a passenger carrying vehicle with more than nine seats), must be fitted with a 'smart' tachograph.

What this means is that the telematics relevant to any of the enforcement authorities, such as the police and DVSA, can be read from the roadside, with no need to pull the vehicle over. Trucks etc. will now have to have these Remote Early Detection Communication Readers (REDCR) and any breaches by the driver, the absence of a valid card, excessive speeds etc. can be detected.

Whilst the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has greeted the incoming rule, and agrees it will aid compliance with the drivers’ hours rules, it refutes claims made by the European Commission when the law making the new devices mandatory was made in 2014, that it will save logistics businesses a total of €500 million through increased efficiencies. James Firth, FTA’s Head of Road Freight Regulation commented:

“Smart tachographs will aid enforcement of the drivers’ hours’ rules; regrettably, enforcement agencies across Europe face a constant battle against those who would try to compete unfairly by driving beyond the legal maximum hours. The next generation tachographs herald a new era in the fight against lorry drivers’ driving when fatigued, but while they will help with enforcement, but they will not save the industry substantial money.

“Fortunately for drivers, they will notice little change; the new models look identical to their predecessors and drivers do not need to replace their tachograph cards. Furthermore, the added satellite location data will help authorities to catch non-UK based operators who work illegally in the UK market. The satellite location function does not provide live tracking, a common misconception, instead, it takes a location 'stamp' at start and end of duty and every three hours of continuous driving.”