Smart tachographs: Transport and Tourism Committee approves user rules
User rules for new "smart" digital tachographs for trucks and buses were approved by the Transport and Tourism Committee on Tuesday. These devices will use satellite tracking technology to make it easier to check and enforce driving and rest times, whilst reducing the number of roadside checks. The rules now need to be approved by Parliament as a whole and the Council of Ministers.
The next generation of tachographs will be fitted to new vehicles within three years once the necessary technical specifications are defined by the Commission. Applying equally to all trucks over 3.5 tonnes on EU roads, they will make fraud and tampering far more difficult. Within 15 years, they will have to be fitted, or retrofitted, to all EU-registered trucks and buses. The committee approved the specifications by 32 votes to 3, with one abstention.
Smart tachographs are designed to be much more user-friendly for both drivers and the authorities. They will enable easy downloading and even remote checking of suspect data, via wireless data transmission to control authorities who could then make targeted roadside checks. But this “remote control communication" must not lead to automatic fines or penalties for the driver or his firm, say the new rules.
Exemption for local craftsmen and small firms
Within one year, trucks of less than 7.5 tonnes will be exempted from the new rules if they carry materials, equipment or machinery for the driver’s use in the course of his work within a radius of 100 km (up from 50 km today) of the firm's base, provided that driving the vehicle is not the driver’s main activity.
Applying social legislation fairly throughout the EU
To eliminate disparities among EU member states in how social legislation is interpreted and enforced, inspectors will have to be properly trained and equipped in line with common standards to be laid down by the European Commission.
The draft regulation, which has already been agreed with the Council Presidency at the second reading, must now be endorsed by Parliaments plenary and the Council of Ministers to enter into force one day after publication in the EU Official Journal