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Transport Managers and Operators: The Driver's Responsibilities

A guide to your legal obligations and responsibilities as an independent driver or transport manager including tachographs, digital record-keeping and legislation affecting two-manned crews.

Drivers of vehicles operating within the EU rules must observe the tachograph requirements. In particular this means understanding what the law requires and how to comply with it. The specific responsibilities of the driver in regard to the law are as follows:

  • Drivers using tachograph charts must ensure that a proper record is made by the instrument, that it is a continuous record, and that it is a ‘time right,’ record (i.e. recordings are in the correct 12-hour section of the chart- daytime or night-time hours).
  • In the event of instrument failure or in circumstances where no vehicle is available when the driver is working he must make manual recordings of his activities on the chart, legibly.
  • Drivers must produce for inspection on request by an authorized inspecting officer a current chart/record for that day plus the charts relating to the previous 28 days.
  • Drivers must return completed charts and/or records to their employer no later than 42 days after use.
  • Drivers must allow any authorized inspection officer to inspect the charts and tachograph calibration plaque, which is usually fixed inside the body of the instrument.

In cases where drivers take their tractive units home at the end of their working shift, this time must be recorded on the tachograph chart and counted as part of the daily maximum driving time and the driver’s day work- it is not part of his rest period.

Two-Crew Operation

Reference above to a driver also includes any other driver who is carried on the vehicle to assist with the driving. In this case a two-man tachograph must be fitted and both drivers must use it to produce records as follows:

  • The person who is driving must have his chart located in the uppermost (i.e. number 1) position in the instrument and use the number 1 activity mode switch to enable his activities and vehicle speed and distance recordings to be made on the charts as appropriate.
  • The person who is riding passenger must have his chart in the rearmost (i.e. number 2) position and must use the number 2 activity mode switch to record his other work activities, or break or rest periods. Only time-group recordings are made on this chart; driving, speed and distance traces are not produced on this second-man chart.

Following a High Court ruling it has become clear that the second man on a double-manned vehicle operation must insert his chart in the second-man position of the instrument from the commencement of the journey, not from the later time when he commences his period of driving.

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