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These rules depend on the weight of the vehicle, the country it is being driven in and what the vehicle is being used for. EU rules state that all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and vehicles adapted to carry more than eight passengers (for example, buses) must be fitted with a fully working tachograph, unless exempt. All commercial vehicles registered on or after 1 May 2006 must be fitted with digital tachographs, otherwise an analogue device can be used.
It is a criminal offence to breach drivers’ hours regulations or to tamper with a tachograph to misrepresent the number of hours driven. Breach regulations can lead to a fine of up to £2,500, while failure to use a tachograph can result in a fine of up to £5,000. Tampering with a tachograph or falsifying drivers’ hours records is a more serious offence which carries a maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment.
A conviction for tachograph offences can have serious implications for both operators and drivers, particularly as an operator’s licence usually includes a condition that the operator will ensure that they are fully compliant with drivers’ hours regulations, while drivers themselves can end up having their vocational licence entitlement suspended or even revoked.
If you are facing allegations of breaching drivers’ hours regulations or tachograph misuse, whether you are an operator or a driver, then it is essential to seek expert advice at the earliest opportunity to ensure you receive the best possible legal representation. At Minton Morrill, our specialist solicitors are highly experienced in representing clients in such cases, whether at the magistrates’ court, the Crown Court, the Court of Appeal or even the Traffic Commissioner.
To find out more about how our specialist tachograph offences solicitors in Leeds, Bradford, Hull, Yorkshire and the wider North of England can help you, please contact us.
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