16-08-05 The Moratorium on the Requirement for Mandatory Fitment of Digital Tachographs in GB Has Been Extended
1. On Tuesday 22nd March the Minister, David Jamieson, released a statement confirming that GB would support the introduction and use of digital tachographs from August this year, but would not require mandatory fitment until such time as it was clear that industry could support this.
2. In recent months it has become clear that the development and delivery of the new tachographs has been further delayed and the ability of industry to meet the revised dates has been called into question. Whilst it is clear that digital tachographs will become available this summer, and will start to be fitted to vehicles, manufacturers have made clear their view that 100% fitment by August is not achievable.
Where We Are
As most involved with the transport industry are aware European legislation was introduced in August 2002 which required that all vehicles first put into service after August 5th 2004 to be equipped with digital tachographs. To support this EU Member States were required to issue smart cards from May 5th 2004.
Unfortunately type approval requirements, in particular the high security requirements, caused delays in the development of the digital tachographs and, as a result the European Commission issued a Moratorium allowing a further 12 month transitional period up to August 2005.
The UK has fully supported the EU moratorium and has worked with the tachograph and vehicle manufacturers to support the revised dates. To this end DVLA have put in place the infrastructure to produce smart cards and VOSA are ready to support the changes required within the Approved Tachograph Scheme to support the activation and calibration of new tachographs.
On 15th March the EU Committee on Transport and Tourism agreed to put forward proposals for amendments to the legislation which would set a mandatory implementation date of August 2007.
Changes to Council Regulation (EEC) No. 3821/85 on Recording Equipment in Road Transport which support the introduction of digital tachographs are contained in Council Regulation (EC) 2135/98 and Council Regulation 1360/2002. These include the requirements for mandatory fitment to all vehicles first put into service two years after the publication on 5th August 2002 of Council Regulation 1360/2002. The EU moratorium on implementation (mandatory fitment0 until 5th August 2005 is included within proposals for new drivers’ hours legislation.
The Committee proposal for further delay will be included in the debate on the second reading by MEPs in April. Whilst this proposal has been much publicised, until debated at EU level the timing of a legal date for mandatory fitment remains unresolved.
On Tuesday 22nd March the Minister, David Jamieson, released a statement confirming that GB would support the introduction and use of digital tachographs from August this year, but would not require mandatory fitment until such time as it was clear that industry could support this.
How Does the Delay Effect Vehicle Operators and Drivers?
Firstly operators need to be aware that the continued delay to the requirement for mandatory fitment to GB based vehicles is a short term measure. Those who use vehicles that operate within scope of EU drivers’ hours rules need to start planning now to manage the introduction and use of digital tachographs.
To do this it will be necessary for drivers to obtain driver smart cards from DVLA and for operators to obtain Company Cards. Information on how to get cards, and when to apply for them, will be announced in good time to enable you to apply for cards.
The drivers’ hours requirements, particularly the obligation placed on operators to monitor drivers’ hours and ensure compliance drivers, remain unchanged. The process for doing this will, however, be very different and operators are advised to seek advice from their vehicle suppliers, trade associations, tachograph manufacturers and from other specialist service providers such as analysis bureaus.
Remember, that if you use a vehicle within scope of the EU Drivers’ Hours Rules [and this includes hire vehicles, demonstration vehicles etc] and the vehicle is equipped with a digital tachograph then the driver must have been issued a driver card. A vehicle equipped with a digital tachograph cannot be used when ‘In scope’ unless the driver has been issued with a driver card.
You should consider the following points:
- The process for obtaining smart cards will be very much easier for POL (photo on licence) driving licence holders. Approximately 80% of vocational licence holders already have POL driving licences but those who have not may wish to consider applying for a POL licence now.
- You may need one or more company cards to enable you to access and download your own company and driver data from the digital tachograph during the period the vehicle is used by your operation.
- You will need to be able to download data from both driver cards & digital tachographs and to analyse the data - it is expected that a variety of solutions will be commercially available to choose from to support operators with this.
- Remember, it remains the responsibility of the operator to ensure that drivers’ hours are properly managed and procedures and working practices need to be put in place to enable this as soon as you start to use digital tachographs.
Page last updated: 03/10/2006