May target for digitachs

08 December 2005 #SMMT News

Digital tachograph law should be in force by May 2006. ‘If all goes according to the EU’s plans, you won’t be able to use a new vehicle with an analogue tachograph after the end of April 2006,’ said Robin Dickeson, manager commercial affairs at the SMMT. ‘This begins to bring some clarity to a very messy situation. The new law will apply right across the EU, covering ‘in scope’ vehicles; or virtually everything over 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight.’

On Tuesday 6 December, the Conciliation Group said digitachs will be a must 20 days after the publication of the directive in the Official Journal. Its statement says that ‘the Council and EU parliament will make every effort’ to publish in April and ‘for digital tachographs to be mandatory for new vehicles from May 2006.’

‘People need to be ready for the start date when they order new trucks or buses. Once the decision is law, you won’t be able to use a new vehicle with an old style analogue tachograph. We don’t think there will be any concessions, so operators or dealers could find themselves paying around £1,000 a vehicle for conversions, before they can put them put them on the road. So anyone with vehicles due for delivery after mid-April needs to think very carefully, particularly if they have ordered analogue tachos.’

The problem will be bad enough in the UK, but international operators may find even more difficulties, especially if they run into countries like Hungary and Greece which show no signs of being ready with their digitach support systems.

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