Recent figures have revealed that there have been 698 tachograph offences in Suffolk in the last two years. Fitted to all heavy goods vehicles, tachographs record the number of hours driving each day, including drivers’ breaks from the wheel.
Suffolk police currently fine drivers for tachograph offences. In 2010, there were 286 tickets and in 2011, that number rose to 412.
A police spokesman said:
“There are spot checks carried out by roads policing officers at various locations – these can be pre-planned or spontaneous checks where a patrolling officer will stop an HGV to check over for tacho and other offences.
“We also work with our partners in VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) and facilitate larger checks such as Operation Mermaid, which is a national campaign involving several other agencies such as VOSA and as well as Customs and the Health and Safety Executive.”
Drivers are able to drive for nine hours a day with two ten-hour days each week. However, they must take 45 minute breaks after every 4.5 hour period and they must not exceed 56 hours in a week. VOSA approved tachograph centres provide calibration and repairs to ensure businesses remain compliant.