Tachograph offences can carry a prison sentence and so you should seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. The most serious tachograph offences can be heard at the Crown Court, the less serious tachograph and drivers’ hours offences are dealt with at the Magistrates’ Court.
With both tachograph and drivers hours offences, there is the possibility that a conviction or issuing of a fixed penalty will lead to a further investigation by the Traffic Commissioner. This could have consequences for the business’ goods vehicle operator licence or the drivers’ vocational driving licence. The investigation will include a visit by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency ( DVSA, formally VOSA) , where they will want to check your tachograph records and see what systems you have in place for checking the records. It is likely that they will remove tachograph charts for analysis. The investigation may include the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency interviewing both the drivers and company under caution.
Drivers’ hours and tachograph offences range from failing to take sufficient break and rest through to failing to keep a record and falsification of a tachograph record. The introduction of digital tachographs have brought new offences such as using the wrong card, using more than one card and failing to download within the specified time. Case law from Europe is forever tightening the definition and interpretation of any exemptions from the requirement to use a tachograph and comply with the drivers hours rules.
If the company or a driver is subject to a drivers hours and tachograph investigation, it is important that they call upon legal advice at the earliest opportunity. I can give advice from the outset of any investigation, through to representing you either at court or before the Traffic Commissioner.
Click here for my contact details.