5 years in prison for manipulating the tachograph? In Poland, there’s a good chance for that.
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Polish road inspectors found a flash drive in a truck which was used to manipulate how the tachograph recorded data. There was another device, also, used to clear errors from the memory of the vehicle’s computer. These “changes” ended up manipulating the odometer also and it did not record the distance driven when the flash drive was used. Road inspectors gave the driver a fine, and then they called the police because what the driver has committed may be considered a crime.
The truck stopped for routine control when it was coming from Moscow.
According to the documents presented, the vehicle should have made a route of about 1,700 km. However, the tachograph data showed that only about 850 kilometres were registered, reports the Provincial Inspectorate of Road Transport in Lublin.
Inspectors found devices to manipulate the tachograph. What’s more – during the test drive, they found out that it affected the odometer, which stopped recording the kilometres driven.
So the authorities gave the driver a fine, and administrative proceedings will be initiated against the carrier. These proceedings may result in a penalty of up to 12 thousand zloties (2750 euros).
However, this is only the beginning.
A fine followed by a prison sentence?
According to ITD, “the police were consulted as to whether the vehicle should be confiscated as evidence or not. The foreign driver has been detained and his further fate will be decided by the investigating authorities. “
We asked ITD why this decision was made. As the Information and Promotion Office of the GITD informed us, the Chief Inspector issued an instruction to the subordinates back in July, that they should “call for law enforcement authorities when the possibility of committing a crime under Art. 306a of the Penal Code happens. This should happen in every case when the use of an unauthorized device that affects the change of tachograph indications, and simultaneously causes a change in the odometer reading of a motor vehicle or interference in the correctness of its measurement is detected. “
The article imposes high penalties on those who change the vehicle odometer data or interfere with the correctness of its measurement or commission it to someone. In the worst case, they face imprisonment from 3 months to even 5 years.
And as one of the provincial branches of ITD informed us, most of the tachograph manipulations work in such a way that they interfere with and even interrupt the odometer.
However, the Inspection does not decide whether the crime has occurred, because “it has no authority to conduct proceedings within the scope of the Penal Code.”
In connection to this, “in each case of the possibility of committing a crime, law enforcement authorities are notified, which autonomously and under the law make decisions regarding further actions” – comments ITD.
Photo: Wikimedia / Vincent van Zeijst CCA-SA 4.0 International