I want to help you understand what it is that you need to know about the new European Union (EU) tachograph legislation and what it means for you and me as drivers. Let’s start with looking at why the EU decided to bring in the new regulations.
The main aims of the new regulations are to increase safety, cut the manipulation of tachograph data and to ensure drivers have adequate rest between shifts and heavy driving periods.
The new regulations will make it easier for you to avoid checks and get to your destination in good time. Authorities in any country in the EU will be able to carry out remote checks and provided that your tachograph data is clean, and nothing arises suspicion, you will be able to continue your journey without being pulled over. This is a key reason to make sure you don’t have any violations. Existing vehicles with old tachographs may still be subject to roadside inspections so the correct use of all tachographs is still extremely important.
In the past drivers have often been one step ahead of the regulators in terms of manipulating tachograph data. This is much harder with a smart tachograph so it is more important than ever to manage your driving time and journeys effectively.
The new legislation came into force on 15 June 2019 and made it compulsory for a smart tachograph to be installed in every new truck from this date.
A smart tachograph contains:
These technologies allow the smart tachograph to automatically record your start point and your end destination. When you are driving it will also update your location information every three hours and generate speed data. In addition, the tachograph will be able to capture information such as security breaches, absence of a valid card and calibration date.
Your smart tachograph will also be able to communicate with local enforcement officers, who will be able to remotely check your tachograph data without the need to stop your vehicle. If no issues are detected authorities must delete the data within three hours.
The smart tachograph will work with existing driver cards so it’s not necessary to rush to renew them. However the old cards will not be able to record the extra information that a smart tachograph can capture which is why some operators may choose to update driver cards anyway.
The new tachograph legislation means there has never been a more important time to plan your trip. Planning your trip effectively helps make you a better a driver, means your journey is more pleasurable and gives you more control. I have put together a guide explaining how to manage your time effectively to comply with the regulations. It includes:
Driver development at Volvo Trucks