DVSA opens smart tachograph remote interrogation trial

DVSA smart tachograph interrogation trial starts

For the first time, DVSA can remotely interrogate certain aspects of the data held by smart digital tachograph head units in moving vehicles after it commenced a trial of the necessary equipment. 

The Agency says the new kit will be used from the roadside and from its own vehicles. It is hoped that the approach will provide DVSA “with greater capabilities to identify potential drivers’ hours offences and target them on the roads.” When not mounted on a vehicle, the equipment “can be fixed to a stand [or] attached to building or highway infrastructure,” the Agency adds.

In addition to enabling examiners to identify possible drivers’ hours violations as part of what has previously been described as “a screening process,” the approach will highlight whether a tachograph card is inserted into the head unit or if it has been tampered with. Examiners can also see whether the smart tachograph unit is correctly calibrated via the trial.

Says Head of Regulatory Services and Transformation Caroline Hicks: “We are committed to exploring every available opportunity to help us to prevent dangerously tired drivers putting themselves and the everyday road user at serious risk. 

“The new technology is a potential game changer in identifying tachograph violations. We are also excited to see where this leads in helping us to identify operators that break all kinds of safety rules.” 

As explained in 2019, remote interrogation of smart tachographs is employed as an indicator that something may be amiss rather than allowing DVSA staff to delve into the driver’s historic hours records. Further information on the data that can be interrogated by examiners remotely is laid out by Croner-i.

Where a tachograph is fitted, a smart unit has been mandatory for all newly registered vehicles since June 2019.