Road transport: tachograph system
Tachographs record the activity of lorry drivers. As such, they help road safety, drivers' working conditions and fair competition - they make sure that EU law is respected on the road.
The number of lethal road accidents per year is decreasing, even though freight and passenger transport is on the rise. This development is largely owing to stricter rules on lorry driving times and decrease of overloads. Tachographs can help their implementation.
However, the breaching of rules and tachograph fraud are common practice. Therefore, these issues also need to be addressed in order to make the legislation more successful.
What was the Greens' position?
The Greens want to use tachograph rules not only as an instrument for road safety, but also to reduce the environmental impact of road freight.
For both purposes it is necessary to ensure the largest possible scope of the legislation. We would like it to apply to all commercial vehicles travelling more than 50km during a journey. It should also apply to animal transports. As a contrast, the ECR wanted the rules to apply only to lorries heavier than 7,5t and travelling more than 250km.
We also insisted on measuring weight and speed.
Tachograph fraud must be combatted - and we consider as a good starting point the prohibition of advertisement for gadgets to manipulate tachographs.
Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?
The Greens succeeded in including speed as a variable to be recorded by tachographs. As this creates a disincentive for speeding it is good news for road safety.
The scope of the regulation will not be as large as we had demanded, but larger than in the initial Commission proposal. Tachographs will have to be installed in lorries weighing more than 2,8t travelling in a radius greater than 100km.
The Parliament called on Member States to fight advertisements on how to commit tachograph fraud on the internet; it also asked the Commission to set up a hotline for whistleblowers on any infringements.
From a labour rights perspective we succeeded to make companies liable for tachograph abuse.
Which points did the Greens lose?
The Parliament's majority could not be convinced to undo the exemption for animal transports to use tachographs.
We also regret that the Parliament insisted on counting times, in which no information is entered into the tachograph as resting time. The duration of breaks was shortened and the minimum number of breaks per distance travelled was replaced by a vague formulation.
The majority approved further rejections to the scope: universal postal services and construction traffic was exempted.