Improper Use of Digital Tachographs Leading to Fines and Suspensions
Digital tachographs designed to provide companies with the ability to monitor their drivers’ are being under-utilized, and restricted license holders are neglecting the duties that they sign on for when they have the equipment installed on their vehicles. That’s according to Nick Denton, London and South East traffic commissioner. Denton just took action against a scaffolding company, suspending them for three weeks as a result of what he called “serious and prolonged drivers’ hours shortcomings.”
The company in question – Park Lane Scaffolding Ltd – and several of its driver employees were found to have failed to get company tachograph cards or the download equipment required to go along with the digital tachograph that they’d had installed in their vehicles.
According to Denton, many companies are operating vehicles in which the digital tachographs have been installed but have absolutely no idea how to use them or what they are supposed to do with them. This means that they have not been downloading employee driving information, enabling drivers to go far beyond their allowable driving time and skipping their rest requirement.
The company in question had previously been suspended for their violations for a period of two days, but remained out of compliance, so the more severe penalties were imposed.
According to Denton, “It is simply not acceptable for operators to purchase vehicles fitted with digital tachographs and then run them without bothering to find out what the legal requirements relating to digital tachographs are.””Restricted operators need to be alert to these requirements and the potential impact on their licence of failing to meet them.”