Controversial judgment of an Italian court on the manipulation of tachographs. Driver vs carrier – what is their scope of responsibility?
You can read this article in 2 minutes
In Italy, a judgment of the Court of Cassation on the manipulation of tachographs was recently handed down. It explained what consequences should be borne by the driver and his employer.
On 2nd May 2019 the first Section of the Court of Cassation in Italy ruled on a case involving manipulation of a tachograph, reports the Italian transport portal trasportoeuropa.it. The judgment was intended to clarify whether this type of fraud is a criminal offence or should be punished in administrative proceedings. The Italian police started to hold both drivers and vehicle owners responsible for manipulating the tachograph, on the basis of Article 437 of the Italian Criminal Code. According to this provision, the manipulation of devices which prevent accidents at work (which includes the tachograph) is a criminal offence.
After the first convictions of drivers under Article 437 of the Italian Penal Code, appeals were lodged and then cassation appeals. The new ruling of the court dispelled all doubts.
According to the judgment no. 18221 of 2 May 2019, the manipulation of the tachograph pursuant to Article 437 of the Penal Code is the sole responsibility of the carrier. The driver, on the other hand, is liable only for the violation of Article 179 of the Highway Code, which is punishable by a fine.
The Court of Cassation ruled on a driver who manipulated the tachograph with 4 magnets to get home early. The judges considered that the man should only be fined for a violation of the above-mentioned provision of the Highway Code.
However, if the manipulation was carried out directly by or at the employer’s request, the employer would be liable for the offence pursuant to Article 437 of the Penal Code.