The courier industry is always on the move – pardon the pun. But it’s not just physically moving – the technology we use is also ever-changing and evolving. So, drum-roll please for the latest legislation to come into effect: as of June 2019, every new vehicle used for delivery work in the courier industry will be required to have a ‘smart tachograph’ installed.
The primary reason for having a tachograph installed in a vehicle is to monitor driver behaviour – in regards to compliance with mandatory drivers’ hours and breaks. So, what’s so smart about the smart tachos? Glad you asked…
Satellites, security and roadside checks
First up, let’s just say if you’re a good, honest and diligent driver who adheres to the rules of the road and the courier industry, you’ve got nothing to worry about with this kind of smart technology in your van. But if you like to cut corners and pull a few ‘dodgies’ every now and again (or often), your ducking and diving days are numbered.
The new technology allows for the use of sophisticated satellite positioning data and much better security, which makes it far less susceptible to tampering. As well as taking a reading at the beginning and end of a journey, it also takes one every three hours of driving, which means no cutting corners when it comes to mandatory breaks and driving hours.
Another hi-tech feature of the devices is their DSRC – Dedicated Short Range Communications. This means that on roadside checks, authorities will be able to directly access data from a vehicle even when it’s still in motion. While it might sound a bit Big Brother-ish, if no infringements are recorded the information must be deleted within three hours. And as a side note, the relevant enforcement agencies aren’t required to start using the equipment that can do this until 2034. But of course that doesn’t mean they won’t start before then, and other European countries may certainly begin using it sooner…
The DVLA is ready!
The DVLA is ready to roll and all driver and company cards issued since the beginning of the year have been fully compatible with the new technology as well as the old. However, it’s different for workshop cards across the country; they were all reissued in April this year, with a validity of 12 months.
More and more, us long term workers in the courier industry are having to learn to roll with the punches. With green initiatives, alternative fuels, electric vehicles and ever-evolving legislation, change seems to be the only constant…
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