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April 10 2019
By Tim Deakin

Tim is Editor of routeone and has worked in both the coach and bus and haulage industries.

DVLA addresses tacho woes as exemption agreed

Compatible workshop cards dispatched to calibration centres; affected have until 30 April to comply

Uncalibrated tachographs have been given a dispensation until 30 April

DVLA says a problem with the calibration of new or existing digital tachographs was resolved with the dispatch of compatible workshop cards to calibration centres on Thursday last week (4 April).

Incompatible workshop cards issued

Four days before, an issue arose where new workshop cards that do not function correctly with current digital tachographs were issued to calibration centres.

The lack of compatibility between the new cards and existing tachographs surrounds the pairing of motion sensors during calibration, installation and periodic inspections.

It is understood that existing workshop cards could no longer be used. As a result, non-smart tachographs could not be calibrated, although periodic inspections continued as normal.

Operators concerned were informed by DVSA that it had temporarily exempted them from the requirement for tachograph calibration until 30 April.

Those head units that have not yet been calibrated will need to be taken for calibration by then. Enforcement surrounding tachograph calibration will continue after that date, DVSA says.

Additionally, vehicles presented for MoT with expired calibration dates are to be given a dispensation until 30 April, although an advisory notice will be issued. The relaxation does not cover anything else related to tachographs, including enforcement surrounding hours offences.

Operators concerned have been advised to keep manual records of drivers’ activities. One is doing so via both the rear of digital tachograph printouts, and a logbook-style form. Its new coach was booked for tachograph calibration this week.

Stay in the UK advice issued

The derogation concerning enforcement is applicable only in the UK and DVSA has no control over the actions of agencies in other countries. As a result, the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) has advised its members with coaches that are affected not to take them abroad until their tachographs have been calibrated.

That also applies to those that are overdue a biannual recalibration; in a worst-case scenario a vehicle with an uncalibrated tachograph could be regarded as unroadworthy and be impounded, CPT adds.

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