Institute of Transport Administration

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5 Feb 2020

Traffic commissioners say some operators are blind to what their operators are doing and what their vehicles are being used for 


 When it comes to digital tachograph reports, being honest and transparent should be the only approach operators take. This is the advice given by the commissioners in their 2019 annual report.

Operators are still regularly called to public inquiries for compliance issues around tachographs and drivers’ hours. Even though analysing data obtained from digital tachographs is paramount for running compliantly and effectively, some operators still fail to do so.

Common problems

Falsified reports, out of date tachograph inspections and the absence of company tachograph cards are common problem areas.

Some operators go to the effort of downloading the data but then don’t analyse it to highlight driver infringements. This includes when the vehicle has been driven without a digicard, known as ‘missing mileage’.

Discussing the data with drivers, followed by taking either remedial or disciplinary action, is key to improving compliance. This is important to road safety. 

Your responsibilities

To avoid leaving yourself vulnerable to regulatory action, you should take a look at the tachograph rules (link below). We have listed some of the things you must do below.

As a driver you must:

  • make sure the recording equipment and driver card are functioning and use them properly
  • only use one card (during the month before your card expires you may hold a replacement card)
  • allow your employer to download data from your card
  • apply for a replacement for lost, stolen or damaged cards within 7 days
  • always carry your card when working and produce it for DVSA officers or the police

As an operator you must:

  • make sure drivers carry out all their responsibilities
  • download the data from driver cards at least every 28 days
  • make sure the recording equipment is calibrated every 2 years
  • make sure defected recording equipment is repaired without delay
  • make sure the recording equipment is functioning correctly and is used properly
  • analyse data from the recording equipment and driver cards to check for breaches of drivers’ hours rules
  • download the data from the recording equipment at least every 56 days
  • have a company card to download the recorded data from the recording system