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Road transport: new tachograph to tackle unfair competition

More efficient recording devices in trucks and adequate equipment for inspectors will help ensure stricter compliance with rules on driving and rest times for lorry drivers. The legislative resolution adopted by Parliament by a large majority on Tuesday, 3 July will make roads safer for everyone.

The regulation tabled by the Commission in July 2011 sets new technical standards for digital tachographs, which have been mandatory for heavy goods vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes since May 2006. It lays down detailed rules for their use, type approval, installation and inspection with a view to combating tampering which is too widespread, according to an assessment carried out for the Commission.

"Smart" tachograph

Parliament proposes in the resolution drawn up by Silvia-Adriana Ticau (S&D, RO) to extend the applications linked to global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) to include recording the beginning and end of a trip. Linked to receivers, the tachograph could even record the weight of a vehicle. In the long term, these more user-friendly tachographs will be able to combine multiple functions.

"The transport committee proposes that every truck, new or old, must be fitted with smart tachographs by 2020", said Mrs Ticau before the vote. The public authorities should also train and equip inspectors to analyse the tachograph data rapidly using the same method "because it is essential that the rules are, at last, applied in the same way everywhere in the EU", said the rapporteur.

Reducing unnecessary controls

Wireless data transmission will, for example, enable the authorities to check (but not sanction) vehicles remotely, without having to stop them, and to concentrate more on vehicles with suspicious data which would then be checked thoroughly.

Trucks used within in a 100-km radius by drivers whose main activity is not driving heavy-goods vehicles should be exempt from using tachographs, says Parliament, keen to avoid unnecessary administrative costs for handicraft businesses. According to Parliament, the new tachograph should become mandatory for all trucks weighing over 2.8 tonnes.

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