EU: European Parliament Vote for the Implementation of "Smart" tachographs linked to GPSS
At the July Plenary in Strasbourg MEPs voted for a regulation which will revise current European Union (EU) tachograph legislation. The plan was first revealed on 28th March 2011, in Brussels, when the Commission released its White Paper "Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system" (COM(2011) 144)) in which the Commission announced its wish to "Review the rules on the tachograph to make it more cost-effective, give access to the EU register on road transport undertakings to police and enforcement officers when they carry out roadside checks; harmonise sanctions for infringement to EU rules on professional transport; harmonise training of enforcement officers." (COM(2011) 144) This was followed by publication of the Commission's proposal for a regulation amending the current legislation on recording equipment in road transport (COM(2011) 451) on 19th July 2011.
The reason behind the new legislation is so that Member States, and the EU, can take advantage of the advances and improvements in technology for example the new technological opportunities offered by global navigation satellite systems (GPSS). The hope is that implementation of these new technologies will make it even more difficult for drivers, or companies, to commit fraud as well as reduce the administrative burden to companies saving them up to €515 million per year. The Commission believes that by ensuring better compliance with the rules, on driving times and rest periods, drivers will be better protected, road safety increased and law abiding companies will be more competitive. Currently there are six million European trucks and buses that are equipped with tachographs.
On the day the Commission put forward its proposal Siim Kallas, Vice-President and Commissioner responsible for Transport, said "The rules on driving times and rest periods are there to protect professional drivers and other road users. They also ensure fair competition and good working conditions for drivers. The digital tachograph is an excellent control tool to ensure that these objectives are achieved. This proposal is not only very important to maintain the reliability of the digital tachograph but it also constitutes a significant step towards introducing an intelligent, integrated on-board unit on trucks that will contribute to improving the efficiency of the EU transport system." (IP/11/903)
The main advances will be in tachographs that can used in conjunction with GPSS, which will enable manual recorders to be replaced with automated ones, a move that the Commission estimates will save drivers and companies up to €349 million per year. These "Smart" tachographs will not only be able to record the beginning and end of each trip they will also allow for better monitoring of the journey and will provide companies with important information necessary for organising the logistics chain. Before the vote in Strasbourg Silvia-Adriana Ticău, the rapporteur, said, "The transport committee proposes that every truck, new or old, must be fitted with smart tachographs by 2020" and 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". (Press Release)
Wireless data transmission will also enable the authorities in Member States to monitor all vehicles remotely so that compliant drivers will be stopped less frequently thus leading to a reduction in the administrative burden which will save up to €34.5 million per year. This will also enable Member States to target their manual roadside checks on those vehicles which are more likely to be in breach of the legislation so that vehicles with suspicious data can 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." (Press Release)
The Detailed Legislative Report can be read here
Last Updated (Wednesday, 05 September 2012 12:36)