Legal Advice For Tachograph Offences and Drivers' Hours Regulations

If your livelihood comes from driving, whether haulage (HGV etc) or public service vehicles (PSVs), you will be required to abide by drivers' hours regulations. To ensure you remain within the law, you will need to have your vehicle or vehicles fitted with a tachograph.

Failure to install or use a tachograph, falsify its readings, or breaching the drivers' hour regulations are all tachograph offences that carry considerable fines and, in the case of faking tachograph recordings, the risk of imprisonment.

If it is alleged you have committed a tachograph offence, you should seek immediate legal advice. Failure to do so could result in penalty, prosecution and the loss of your livelihood.

Tachograph Offences

What Is A Tachograph?

A tachograph is a device used to record speed, distance travelled and time spent driving. It is a legal requirement for all commercial and passenger vehicles that meet the required criteria.

The tachograph is used to ensure drivers are not exceeding the amount of driving hours permitted on a daily, weekly and fortnightly basis. It also records whether the correct resting periods and breaks are being observed.

Driver's Hours Regulations

EU rules state that it is illegal for drivers of qualifying vehicles to drive for more than:

  • 9 hours in a day (extendable to 10 hours, twice a week)
  • 56 hours in a week
  • 90 hours in any 2 consecutive weeks.

At least 11 hours of rest are required every day, with an unbroken rest period of 45 hours per week. The latter can be reduced to 24 hours every other week.

Drivers' hours regulations also legislate for breaks, with a stop of at least 45 minutes after every 4 and a half hours of driving being mandatory.

What Are The Penalties For Tachograph Offences?

Drivers' hours regulations are enforceable by law. Failure to comply with them or committing a tachograph offence can result in the following maximum penalties:

  • Breaking the rules on driving times, breaks or rest periods – £2,500 fine
  • Failing to maintain records (for vehicles not covered by EU rules) – £2,500 fine
  • Not installing a tachograph – Unlimited fine
  • Failure to produce tachograph records when requested by a sanctioned official – Unlimited fine
  • Falsification or amendment of records with intent to deceive – Unlimited fine (summary conviction) or 2 years' imprisonment (indictment)
  • Tampering with or forging the seal on a tachograph with intent to deceive – Unlimited fine (summary conviction) or 2 years' imprisonment (indictment).

What If I Am Accused Of A Tachograph Offence?

If you are being investigated or prosecuted for alleged tachograph offences or infringement of drivers' hours regulations, you should seek professional and independent legal advice at the earliest opportunity. Early intervention from an expert in road transport law can mean the difference between a lesser and a heavier fine, exoneration and imprisonment.

To ensure you receive the most effective representation available, it is paramount the law firm you choose for your legal advice has the capability to handle such cases.

Why Choose Simpson Millar?

With our enviable track record of achieving the right results for both business clients and individuals, Simpson Millar is a full service law firm with a dedicated Haulage and Road Transport department.

Experts in all aspects of road transport law, including tachograph offences and breaches of drivers' hours regulations, the experience our specialist team has in this field puts us in the strongest position to offer sound, effective legal advice and representation for any alleged infringement of the rules.

What Do I Do Next?

For expert advice on tachograph law and to increase your chances of a favourable result, delay no further. Discuss your case with a professional Road Transport Solicitor – contact Simpson Millar and speak to one of our team today.


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Julie Robertson - Motoring Offences and Criminal Defence Solicitor - Manchester

Julie Robertson
Partner, Head of Motoring & Criminal Defences

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