Smart tachographs have been introduced into heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) sold in the UK.
Millions of trucks and buses already contain this feature in their vehicles and now, the smart devices will benefit vehicles in the UK, reducing the administrative process and tampering of current digital tachographs.
Digital tachographs became compulsory 13 years ago on newly-registered commercial vehicles across the EU; this was done as a way of addressing the issue of accidents caused by HGV drivers through either fatigue or speeding, while also guaranteeing fair competition between transport companies, and to guarantee fair working conditions for drivers.
Work was required however, as it was found that digital tachographs were vulnerable to motion sensor tampering.
A European regulation in March 2016 led to the construction, testing, installation and operation of smart tachographs.
Significantly, these smart tachographs will now play an important role in the health and safety of HGV drivers and, as a result, the wider population.
Driver fatigue can have catastrophic consequences but now, the new technology comes with regulations that strengthen the enforcement of key road safety rules that apply to commercial vehicles and buses.
This includes data regarding driver hours, break times and whether or not a vehicle driver has exceeded their daily driving limits and therefore can’t be retained for longer than three hours unless it shows a misuse of the tachograph.
In England, the likes of the Vision Zero commitment from Transport for London (TfL) is working to improve the conditions that HGV drivers work in, while also looking to ensure the health and safety risks associated with driving these vehicles are minimised.
By using smart technology to maintain awareness of the number of hours a HGV driver undertakes, it will massively reduce those driving when it is dangerous to do so.
The Freight Transport Association said: “The next generation tachographs herald a new era in the fight against lorry drivers driving when fatigued.”