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Tachograph infringement penalties

By Simon Austin March 9, 2021

Tachograph infringement penalties, rules and regulations

Tachographs are essential technology in fleet management, helping keep drivers and the haulage companies they work for compliant with drivers’ hours rules. As of May 2006, newly registered vehicles must be fitted with a digital tachograph to help collect data more efficiently – there are some exemptions, however. Unfortunately, although tachographs help monitor the situation on the ground, they don’t necessarily prevent those tachograph infringement codes from popping up in driver reports. 

We’ll have a look at the most common tachograph rules and infringement codes, along with tachograph infringement fines and penalties. We’ll also look at solutions to help counter non-compliance which could improve your business and keep your fleet on the road.

Most common tachograph infringements in Ireland

Fleets operated by Irish companies are subject to regular and coordinated checks, in accordance with article five (5) of EC Directive 2006/22. These checks are managed by several organisations like ROADPOL. They give us an overview of the most common tachograph violations.

According to figures from ROADPOL (European Road Policing Network), of the 210,365 HGVs that were checked, 63,567 violations were found and the onward journey had to be prohibited until the proper condition of the vehicles or load had been restored on 221 occasions.

The most common violation codes (according to ROADPOL) for tachographs in 2022 were related to the following types of offences

  • Driving hours and rest periods
  • Tachograph enforcement
  • Technical condition of vehicles
  • Speed

In detail: 

  • 7,119 lorry drivers broke the Europe-wide drivers’ hours’ regulations, meaning they drove their vehicle for longer than legally allowed without complying with the mandatory breaks. 
  • Tachographs were not properly managed on 5,520 occasions. 
  • Digital tachographs were manipulated 537 times.

    This can have serious consequences, both for the driver and the employer and the tachograph fines can amount to quite a sum. Furthermore, for certain infringements, non-compliance can result in criminal charges and further actions. Let’s take a look at the fines and what tachograph solutions Reveal can offer to help combat non-compliance.

    What are the fines for tachograph infringements?

    In Ireland, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) is responsible for enforcing EU legislation on tachographs, driver hour rules, as well as various other regulations. Since 2009, the RSA has been prosecuting any professional drivers or operators found to be in breach of this legislation. In practice, the Garda Siochana also enforces these laws on the ground in addition to RSA Transport Officers. 

    The European Communities (Road Transport)(Working Conditions and Road Safety) Regulations 2008 (SI. No. 62 of 2008) authorise Gardaí and Transport Officers to:

    • Inspect vehicles
    • Prohibit the use of vehicles
    • Investigate breaches of the law
    • Take an operator or driver to court for breaking tachograph and drivers’ hours law

    Normally, the maximum fine for offences concerning the EU and national regulations dealing with tachographs and drivers hours is €5,000. This fine applies in cases where the offence is tried summarily. However, should the offence be tried on indictment, the offender(s) may be fined up to a maximum of €10,000.

    Who is responsible in the case of an infringement?

    In the case of a tacho infringement, there is no clear-cut answer as to who is responsible. It can be either the driver themselves, or the employer. Where culpability lies is dependent on a few factors, such as how a driver performs their work and why a fine is imposed. Should a driver refuse to produce tachograph information, it is reasonable to think that this would then be the driver’s responsibility, whereas if a road transport companies vehicle wasn’t fitted properly with a tachograph in the first place, the responsibility may be that of the company’s.

    However, the situation is unfortunately a bit murky and is often dealt with on a case-by-case basis. The take-away is that both drivers and their companies can be held liable for the tachograph infringements, making a thorough and reliable tachograph system all the more important.

    Solutions to help counter tachograph infringements: Telematics

    Digital solutions in the form of telematics can help simplify the situation for your company. You may already have equipped your vehicles with GPS tracking, which is a great step in keeping track of your fleet. However, keeping track of driver data can be time consuming, especially when you have other things to deal with in your business.

    Digital tachograph software, such as the one offered by Verizon Connect, can help monitor drivers’ hours and their rest periods. However, it can also help automate the process of recording and downloading tachograph data properly, taking some of the weight of administrative hassle off your shoulders. This helps you manage compliance and helps your drivers get the weekly rest they require. The Verizon Connect digital tachograph software is updated in near real-time, meaning you have all the necessary information at your fingertips, and you don’t need to request an upload from your driver. Verizon’s digital tachograph software allows for the remote download of tachograph data, meaning that your drivers can focus on the task at hand and keep their attention on the road.

    Simon Austin

    Simon is the Marketing Manager for UK & Ireland, Verizon Connect. With over 12 years marketing experience in the IT software and business analytics industry, Simon believes passionately in the power of data and how it can help business realise their full potential.

    Tags: Cost control, Customer service, Data & analytics, Dispatching & scheduling, Payroll, Productivity & efficiency, Safety, Team management

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