As part of the Government’s incentive to reduce the burden on small businesses, it is proposing to changes to tachograph rules, including the maximum length of time between which an operator must take a download from the digital tachograph.
The current maximum time scale is 56 days. The government is proposing adopting a European time scale which would allow downloads every 90 days. The rationale behind the change is that it would assist those who operate long international journeys and that for many operators the download of data from the tachograph is linked to the vehicle’s scheduled preventative maintenance inspection. As Traffic Commissioners allow operators flexibility as to how frequently they carry out preventative maintenance inspections, extending the maximum period between downloads from the vehicle unit would assist operators.
The Government also proposes to make changes to tachograph rules regarding how drivers who are subject to the domestic rules keep records of their driving time. Currently such records have to be recorded on a specified record sheet. There will still be a requirement under the operator licence undertaking to keep a record but there would now be freedom on the operator to keep the record in whatever form was appropriate to their business.
These changes should make life a little easier for operators. Drivers’ lives should be made a lot easier by the proposed introduction of a new, more user friendly and easier to understand guide on drivers’ hours rules.
These proposals are due to come into effect in 2014. However, until the legislation is passed, operators and drivers must adhere to the current rules.
More details can be found in my article for Commercial Motor:-