Tachograph Regulations

The popularity of stretch limousines has soared in recent years and the government is tightening control regulations on stretch limousines to make sure they meet safety and licensing standards.

There will be also pre-registration checks to make sure all new vehicles with more than eight passenger seats comply with the guidelines; tachographs and speed limiters are required, by law, for limos registered or licensed to carry over eight passengers. This became mandatory in January 2008.

A tachograph is a device that combines the functions of a clock and a speedometer. Fitted to a limousine, a tachograph can record the vehicle's speed and the length of time that it is moving or stationary. The mechanical or analogue tachograph writes on a waxed paper disc which constantly turns throughout the work day. However, these are vulnerable to tampering, and so are being replaced by digital tachographs which record data on smart cards.

The biggest difference between the current analogue tachograph and the digital tachograph will be the use of a ‘smart card’ instead of the record sheets (often called charts, discs, tachos) used in analogue tachographs.

The digital tachograph records driver activity times - driving, other work, rest and breaks. However unlike the current analogue, which records only to a record sheet, the digital units will record to the driver smart card and also hold the information in the Vehicle Unit, allowing accurate monitoring of chauffer activities. Every new limo registered after the 1st May 2006 requires a digital tachograph to be fitted.

Today operators see tachographs as levellers -- devices which prevent unfair competition from companies who force their chauffeurs to work excessive hours and increase the chance of having an accident due to chauffer fatigue. Trade unions and drivers also now favour tachographs for this reason and records are often used in tribunals as proof when claiming for unpaid work.

The Department for Transport has published guidelines for operators to make sure their vehicles comply and is introducing a tough new safety inspection regime and for more information about whether the limo you are hiring meets the necessary safety requirements, contact HireLimos now.