Tachograph Laws

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Tachograph Rules and Regulations

A lack of knowledge of the rules in respect of tachographs can easily cause problems for any operator that deals with vehicles that are, or which should be, fitted with a tachograph. If you or an employee have been accused of breaching the rules in respect of tachographs, the specialist road transport solicitors at JMW are ready to provide the legal advice and services you need.

To get in touch with a solicitor if you have been accused of breaching tachograph rules and regulations, call us today on 0345 872 6666 and we will be happy to discuss your case. Alternatively, fill in our online enquiry form and we will get back to you.

How JMW Can Help

Defending against allegations of, or an investigation into, a tachograph offence is difficult due to the legally technical aspects involved. We are experienced in handling and advising on tachograph matters for both individuals and businesses. 

Our solicitors will discuss your situation with you in detail and help you to understand your legal position simply and clearly. We then consider all possible resolutions on your behalf to ensure you are able to keep your licence and your livelihood.

JMW is a modern practice with members often rated in Chambers UK and the Legal 500 for our high standard of service.

What is a Tachograph?

A tachograph is, in essence, a device installed into a commercial vehicle to record data relevant to the driver’s activities, primarily monitoring their drivers’ hours compliance, although there are other related monitoring functions.

A tachograph must record the following information:

  • Distance of the vehicle
  • Speed of the vehicle
  • When the vehicle is not moving (rest and breaks)
  • Time spent driving
  • Other work periods
  • When the case that holds the tachograph is opened
  • Any loss of power to the speed and distance sensor

The regulation governing the EU rules in respect of tachograph installation and usage (Regulation (EU) No.165/2014) was retained in UK law following the UK’s exit from the EU. This means it remains in force in the UK, although there are some amendments included.

The general rule is that tachographs are required to be installed and used in vehicles used for the carriage of passengers or goods by road, and to which the EU Drivers’ Hours Rules apply. There is, however, a list of exemptions to the requirement to install and use a tachograph.

The regulations in respect of tachograph instalment and usage lay down stringent technical specifications that recording equipment is required to adhere to in order to ensure that driver activity is properly monitored. The tachograph equipment itself must:

  • Record tachograph data related to the driver, driver activity and the vehicle, and that activity must be accurate
  • Be secure
  • Be interoperable
  • Allow for the efficient verification of compliance with the tachograph rules and regulations
  • Have enough memory capacity to store all the required data
  • Be user friendly

Using, or causing or permitting to be used, a vehicle which does not have a tachograph installed, or which does not have equipment installed in compliance with the rules and regulations, when it should have, is an offence.

For the rules on drivers’ hours, visit our dedicated page.

FAQs About Tachograph Rules and Regulations

What are the penalties for tachograph offences?

You could receive an unlimited fine for failing to install or use a tachograph. If you are convicted of producing a false tachograph recording, you could be at risk of a maximum prison sentence of two years in addition to an unlimited fine.

How many hours can you drive on tachograph?

Drivers driving under EU rules are required to take 45-minute breaks for every 4.5 hours of driving time completed. The driver can take 45 minutes at once, or split it into two breaks - one for 15 minutes, one for 30 minutes. 

There are additional restrictions calculated with reference to days and weeks, for example, a driver must take a minimum of 11 hours of rest every day, although this can be reduced to nine hours on three occasions between any two weekly rest periods.

How many hours can be driven in a week under EU rules?

The maximum driving hours in a week is 56 hours. For every two-week period, the driving period limit is 90, and the daily maximum drive time is 9 hours, which can be extended up to 10 hours twice a week.

Can I drive a 7.5 tonne lorry without tacho?

Most heavy goods vehicles and/or vehicle combinations weighing over 3.5 tonnes are required to have a tachograph. For passenger vehicles, a tachograph must be fitted in those that are constructed to carry more than 9 people (including the driver), and are intended for that purpose, subject to any exemptions.

Talk To Us

If you want to know more about the rules and regulations surrounding tachographs, get in touch with one of our solicitors today. Call 0345 872 6666, or fill in our online enquiry form to request a call back.

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