The DVSA is trialling a new tachograph sensing technology capable of identifying if an HGV driver is flouting tacho laws without the vehicle being stopped, in an attempt to prevent dangerously tired drivers from getting behind the wheel. The equipment can be used alongside a lorry or at the roadside.
“We are committed to exploring every available opportunity to help us prevent dangerously tired drivers putting themselves and the everyday road user at serious risk,” said Caroline Hicks, DVSA head of regulatory services and transformation. “The new technology is a potential game changer in identifying tachograph violations. We’re also excited to see where this leads in helping us identify operators who knowingly break all kinds of safety rules.”
The agency has issued 1,317 drivers’ hours prohibitions to HGV, PCV and applicable light CV drivers during the 2021/22 financial year and it is still witnessing cases of serious and deliberate violations. Dedicated to short-range communications, the tachograph technology trialled by the DVSA pulls data from vehicles fitted with smart tachographs while they are on the move by picking up information from a smart tacho’s antennae.
After the data is in, DVSA traffic examiners will then be able to detect violations such as if a tachograph card is not inserted, if the card has been tampered with and also whether it has been correctly calibrated. The examiners can also read, interrogate and act on this data and stop a truck to verify the information and take appropriate action.
Already in use in Europe, the DVSA hopes this type of technology will provide traffic examiners with greater capabilities to identify drivers’ hours offences, as well as offering greater agility and unpredictability as the tools can be fixed to a stand, attached to buildings or highway infrastructure, or used on a vehicle.
Last month, the DVSA also started using a mobile inspection unit, which includes a roller brake tester, under vehicle cameras and tacho analysis equipment, to identify dangerous drivers and take them off the roads.
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