Introduction of digital tachographs
The European Council and Parliament Conciliation Committee meeting on 6 December reached an agreement on: a regulation aimed at establishing common rules on driving times, breaks, rest periods and requiring use in certain vehicles of a digital tachograph to measure these times; and a directive laying down minimum conditions on driving and resting times for professional drivers.
The regulation requires that all new vehicles put into service after the twentieth day following publication of the regulation in the Official Journal of the EU must be fitted with a digital tachograph.
"The Council and European Parliament will make every effort to complete finalisation of the text to allow it to be published in the Official Journal in April and for digital tachographs to be mandatory for new vehicles from early May 2006".
The biggest difference between the current (analogue) tachograph and the digital tachograph will be the use of a smart card instead of the record sheets (often called charts, discs) used in analogue tachographs.
The Driver smart card is a plastic card similar in size to a photo driving licence / credit card, with a microchip in it.
There are 4 cards (collectively known as 'tachograph cards'
) that are used by the digital tachograph system.
- Driver card - used by drivers to allow the recording of drivers' hours
- Company card - for use by the operator to protect and download the data
- Workshop card - available only to approved calibration centres
- Control card - available only to DVTA and Police for carrying out enforcement
Additional information regarding digital tachographs can be found on website address www.digitaltachograph.gov.uk (opens a new window).
For queries in relation to smart cards contact:
DVLNI, Digital Tachograph Section,
DLD, County Hall,
Coleraine BT51 3TD.
028 703 41469
For queries in relation to Drivers' hours, tachographs or tachograph workshop approval contact:
DVTA Enforcement Administration Section
148-158 Corporation Street
Belfast BT1 3DH
028 90 254117/254118
Technical Policy, Legislation and Standards