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What are the new tachograph rules in the EU

By Verizon Connect Team April 30, 2023

The first generation of smart tachographs has been mandatory in all new heavy-duty vehicles since June 2019. Now, the European Union is raising the bar on safety and introducing new tachograph regulations, which will require second-generation tachographs to be installed from August 2023.

The tachograph plays a vital role in enhancing the safety of professional drivers 

The tachograph is the device responsible for recording various aspects of a driver's work, including driving times, rest periods, and periods of other work and availability. By preventing driver fatigue and ensuring fair competition, the tachograph ultimately serves to promote road safety. (1)

Further to this, driver fatigue in the EU is a factor in 10-25 % of all road crashes in the European Union (2). And, a separate study by the European Road Safety Observatory stated that “it is estimated that driver fatigue is a contributing factor in 15 to 20% of serious crashes. Fatigued driving is also said to be relatively common among (international) truck drivers, people working (night) shifts, young men and people with untreated sleep problems/disorders. Taxi drivers are also seen as a risk group for fatigued driving” (3).

Safety is the main reason why the new tachographs rules state that installing a tachograph is mandatory “in new vehicles weighing more than 3. 5 tonnes when they are intended for the transport of goods, new vehicles carrying more than 9 persons including the driver, or when they are intended for the transport of passengers” (4). 

New tachograph rules: Smart tachograph to boost safety and compliance

Currently, there is a regulation in force governing the use of the tachograph: Regulation (EU) No. 165/2014  which lays the foundations for the regulation of this security system. Since June 2019, a new generation of digital tachographs, (known as smart tachographs), have been installed in newly registered trucks and buses (5).

The security functions of a smart tachograph 

  • Digital tachographs can record and store the activity of the driver and the co-driver. 
  • Digital tachograph data is accurate and precise thanks to this advanced technology, anti-tampering measures and encryption keys.
  • Drivers insert their personal card into the tachograph before they drive (this personal card stores the driving activity from the driver for at least 28 days and ensures that the information can be easily retrieved by inspection authorities).
  • Communication tools such as GNSS positioning and transmission of real-time information to enforcement authorities by means of a short-range communication channel. (6)

New tachograph regulations: The second generation of smart tachograph is here

Under the recent amendment to Regulation (EU) No. 165/2014, an updated version of the smart tachograph – version 2 – is set to be launched in 2023. This new device not only records a driver's activity, but also boasts additional functionalities geared towards enforcing EU legislation on cabotage and posting of workers. These features include the ability to record border crossings and detect the precise location of a vehicle during load/unload operations (7).

The new smart tachograph version 2 is set to enhance the anti-tampering resistance of its predecessor. This will be achieved through a range of innovative features, such as the ability to authenticate satellite signals and the installation of an internal sensor that operates independently from the external motion sensor (8).

There are several important dates for the implementation of the smart tachograph version 2 or second-generation smart tachograph (9): 

August 2023

According to the new tachograph rules, the second generation of smart tachographs must be installed in all new registered vehicles with a permissible weight of 3.5 tonnes or more by the 31st of August. 

December 2024

From December 31st, 2024, all international road transport vehicles weighing 3.5 tonnes or more must switch to the latest smart tachograph version 2 for improved tracking and safer roads. This also includes vehicles equipped with an analogue or digital non-smart tachograph.

August 2025

By the 18th of August 2025 the vehicles equipped with a smart tachograph version 1 will need to replace and install the second generation of this smart technology. 

July 2026, 

By the 1st of July, all new vehicles above 2.5 tonnes in international road transport or cabotage operations will be equipped with a smart tachograph version 2 (second generation smart tachograph). 

Digital tachograph and a fleet management solution: a perfect match

Fleet managers bear the responsibility of ensuring that their drivers comply with the new EU tachograph regulations, safeguarding the legal obligations of the company and its owners. Failure to comply can result in significant legal and financial penalties.

Integrating a digital tachograph with a smart and easy-to-use GPS tracking solution allows fleet managers to access the tachographs status in near real- time. This gives them visibility of their fleets, drivers and their schedules globally. Allowing for better planning, decision making and higher productivity whilst ensuring compliance.

Fleet managers can leverage automated tachograph file downloads to ensure compliance with mandatory driver tachograph      card and      file archiving requirements without disrupting their drivers' schedules. This approach allows for seamless tracking of drivers and vehicles, while also providing a central repository for all downloaded files. This makes it easy to access files for audits or analysis.

To learn more about the benefits of bundling the digital tachograph and a fleet management solution download your free eBook Telematics and Digital Tachograph: A Smart Match for Fleets.

Schedule a demo to learn more about the ways fleet management can streamline compliance management for your fleet.

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(2)Source: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=PI_COM:C(2021)2639&from=EN )



Verizon Connect Team

We drive a connected world in constant motion! We automate, optimise and revolutionise the way people, vehicles and things move around the world.

Tags: Safety, Team management

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