Dutch transport inspectorate begins checking tachograph data remotely

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Dutch transport inspectorate begins checking tachograph data remotely

The Dutch transport inspectorate has started testing equipment that can be used to read data from tachographs remotely. For the moment, the tests are taking  place at the roadside and from within a moving vehicle. Later, the tests will also be conducted on bridges crossing motorways.

Since June 2019, new HGVs have been equipped with smart tachographs that register a driver’s driving and rest times. Existing trucks and buses must have also have smart tachographs fitted by December 2024.

In order to be able to read smart tachographs remotely, so-called Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) equipment is required. This allows inspectors to assess roadside tachograph data without having to stop trucks and other commercial vehicles.

According to Dutch road transport website ttm.nttm.n, the transport inspectorate in the Netherlands are currently running the rule over DSRC equipment from the Netherlands, Poland and Belgium.

Jeffrey Geesdorp, senior inspector for Road Freight Transport, says the aim of the current tests is to see whether the equipment allows tachograph data to be checked remotely in a variety of different conditions without facing problems with unreliable or incomplete results:

The aim of this pilot is to test DSRC equipment under a variety of conditions. Think of traffic congestion and bad weather conditions. We want to gain knowledge and experience in this. Of course we need to know whether the retrieved data is reliable and complete. During these tests we compare the equipment. We mainly focus on the reliability and completeness of the data and the technical operation. We test in 2 ways. Today we test static; from behind the guardrail. But that is also possible from a viaduct. Later this week we will test dynamically; while driving.

It is hoped that the technology will help inspectors to detect tachograph fraud more easily. If any irregularities are found in a truck using the DSRC equipment, the inspectorate can then order a full roadside check. In turn, the inspectorate believes that the tech can increase road safety and improve working conditions.

The inspectorate says the equipment has already been used to detect and prosecute drivers who were not using their tachograph card.

The testing of the equipment shall continue throughout the year and could be extended for another year. Following that, a decision on which system to use will be made, putting the inspectorate in a good position for when smart tachographs will be much more common in 2024.

Photo credit: Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport (ILT)

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