7 occasions drivers paid the price for tachograph manipulation in 2020

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7 occasions drivers paid the price for tachograph manipulation in 2020

Tachographs understandably irk many drivers. However, opting to tamper or manipulate a tachograph can prove to be a costly mistake in the long run.

Here at Trans.INFO, we have seen fairly regular reports of drivers trying to hack tachographs, only to get found out and pay a hefty price. To illustrate the point, here are seven recent examples of tachograph manipulation costing drivers an arm and a leg:

1. January 2020: Spanish driver handed 6 month prison sentence and €1,080 fine

On 22nd January 2020, Spain’s Supreme Court found a driver guilty of manipulating a tachograph using a magnet.

By placing a magnet on the metal part of the tachograph motion sensor, the driver was able to make it look like he was resting while he was out on the road.

As a result, the driver was handed a six-months prison term and a fine of €1,080 for the crime of falsifying documents.

2. January 2020: German police dish out fine of €17,000

In the same month, traffic police from Nuremberg caught another truck driver manipulating his tachograph. Once again, the device was recording rest time while the trucker was on the move. After being charged with fraud, the driver was handed a hefty fine of €17,000.

In the same week, Nuremberg traffic police in Nuremberg stopped a truck driver who had worked 32 hours non-stop in a 48 hours period. He too was severely punished – receiving a fine of €9,000.

3. February 2020: Dutch court sent a driver to prison and imposed a fine of €20,000

A couple of weeks later, the Rotterdam prosecutor’s office demanded a prison sentence for an employee and a €20,000 fine for his company for tachograph manipulations.

During an investigation into the company, several manipulated tachographs with accessories and trucks with manipulated tachographs were found. They also came across equipment for tachograph manipulation according to the prosecutor’s office.

On top of the massive fine, the guilty part ended up with six months’ suspended imprisonment and 240 hours of community service.

4. March 2020: fines of €1500 for the drivers each; €15,000 for their employer

Our fourth case is another example from Germany, again, during the peak of coronavirus crisis: police officers stopped and checked a double-cast Romanian truck on the German A8.  During the inspection, they found that the tachograph was recording rest periods despite the fact the truck was on the move.

As a consequence, two drivers, aged 34 and 37, were issued with fines of €1,500 each. Their employer was also fined €15,000, whole the truck was not permitted to continue its journey until the drivers had taken the prescribed rest.

5. September 2020: Polish inspectors fine a driver €2,250 euros for having the wrong tachograph

Polish inspectors found an outdated analogue tachograph in a truck and in turn imposed a fine of  approx 2,250 euros (10,000 PLN) to the company operating the trucks.

The manipulation was spotted during a routine check. The device was supposed to have been replaced 2 years earlier by law, as was shown by the tachograph service plate attached to the vehicle’s door.

6. September 2020: German police impose fines of nearly €19,000 for tampered tachographs

Police officers from Nuremberg came across manipulated tachographs after deciding to carry out road checks at the end of September. During these checks, they encountered two manipulations when the drivers travelled several hundred kilometres without registering it on the device.

Both drivers had to fork out €10,000 and €18,900 respectively. As the police stressed, in either case both drivers and their employers were held responsible.

BAG officials have launched an investigation against the two drivers for suspected falsification of data. The employers of both truckers will, in turn, be checked for infringements of the Driving Staff Act by the Federal Office for Goods Transport (BAG).

7. September 2020: mission impossible completed – the ‚unbreakable’ tachograph 3.0 was manipulated

Tachograph 3.0 was developed to eliminate fraudulent driver behaviour forever. However, as our regular readers to the site will be aware, it turned out to be wishful thinking. As recently as last week, inspectors stopped a truck in which they detected a switch for the ‘reliable’ Tachograph 3.0 device.

The police officers discovered the manipulation as they checked the working time. The inspection showed that something was wrong, and the truck in question, which was carrying olives from Greece to Russia, was taken to a workshop.

Once there, the diagnosticians thoroughly checked the tachograph, pulse transmitter and wiring. They found that the device had been tampered with via a combination of buttons to block the operation of the device. Although this technique is well known, it was not supposed to work on a device considered to be so reliable.

Now the driver will have to pay a deposit of PLN 12,000 (approx 2,600 euros) to continue his journey.

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