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Tachograph Infringements and Penalties

Why are tachographs used? They are essential in ensuring HGV operators work safely and legally by checking for adherence to UK and EU drivers’ hours rules. Important driver data such as the amount of time a driver spends at the while and the rest periods they take are all logged automatically with these digital devices.

The rules governing drivers’ hours are strict. As such, infringements of these rules can lead to significant penalties. In this article, we explain the different types of tachograph infringements and the associated penalties as per UK law.

Understanding Tachograph Infringements

Tachograph infringements range from failing to observe driving times, breaks, or rest periods, to not keeping or handing over tachograph records when requested by an enforcement officer.

Common Tachograph Infringements

Here are some of the most common tachograph infringements that could occur:

  • Failure to Observe Driving Times, Break or Rest Period Rules: Not adhering to the stipulated driving times, breaks, and rest periods can lead to a Level 4 fine.
  • Failure to Make or Keep Records: If a driver or employer fails to make or keep necessary records under GB rules, a Level 4 fine can be imposed.
  • Failure to Install a Tachograph: Not having a tachograph installed in vehicles that require one can result in a Level 5 fine.
  • Failure to Use a Tachograph: If a tachograph is installed but not used, it can also lead to a Level 5 fine.
  • Failure to Hand Over Tachograph Records: Not providing tachograph records when requested by an enforcement officer can result in a Level 5 fine.
  • False Entry or Alteration of a Record: Making a false entry or altering a record with the intent to deceive can lead to a Level 5 fine or, on indictment, 2 years’ imprisonment.
  • Altering or Forging the Seal on a Tachograph: If the seal on a tachograph is altered or forged with the intent to deceive, it can lead to a Level 5 fine or, on indictment, 2 years’ imprisonment​.

The Repercussions of Tachograph Infringements

Violating tachograph rules can land you with some pretty heavy fines, as well offering the threat of prison time when willful deceit is proven. As such the driver’s and company’s reputation can be tarnished forever.

Tips to Help You Avoid Infringements

  • Regular Training: Providing regular training to drivers on the importance of adhering to tachograph rules and how to use tachographs correctly can help in reducing infringements.
  • Routine Checks: Performing routine checks on tachographs to ensure they are working correctly and are being used properly can also help in staying compliant.
  • Maintaining Records: Keeping well-organised and up-to-date records of all tachograph data can aid in avoiding infringements related to record-keeping.
  • Open Communication: Encouraging open communication between drivers and management can help in identifying and rectifying issues before they lead to infringements.

In Conclusion

Tachograph infringements can have serious repercussions for both drivers and employers. However, being well-informed about the different types of infringements and the associated penalties, along with taking proactive steps to ensure compliance, can significantly help in reducing their likelihood, resulting in a safer and more compliant work environment.

About the author

Jonathan Gilder

Jonathan Gilder

Head of Training and Transport
Jonathan is a distinguished NRI HGV Instructor accredited by RTITB, with certifications in IOSH Managing Safely, RTITB Lift Truck Instruction, and ROSPA Assured PAT Testing. His expertise extends to EdI Level 3 NVQ Assessing, Btec Level 2 in Transportation of Goods by Road, and he is a skilled Trainer in Driver CPC and Incident Investigation from GH Safety.

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