May target for digitachs in UK

Digital tachograph law should be in force by May 2006, according to Transport News Brief.

“If all goes according to the EU's plans, you won't be able to use a new vehicle with an analogue tachograph after the end of April 2006,” said Robin Dickeson, manager commercial affairs at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. “This begins to bring some clarity to a very messy situation. The new law will apply right across the EU, covering virtually everything over 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight.”

On Dec. 6, the EU said digitachs will be a must 20 days after the publication of the directive in the Official Journal. Its statement says that “the Council and EU parliament will make 'every effort' to publish in April and for digital tachographs to be mandatory for new vehicles from May 2006.”

People need to be ready for the start date when they order new trucks or buses. “Once the decision is law, you won't be able to use a new vehicle with an old style analogue tachograph,” says Dickeson. “We don't think there will be any concessions, so operators or dealers could find themselves paying around $1,768 a vehicle for conversions, before they use new vehicles. So anyone with vehicles due for delivery after mid-April needs to think very carefully, particularly if they have ordered analogue tachos.”

The problem will be bad enough in the UK, but international operators may find even more difficulties, especially if they run into countries like Hungary and Greece, which show no signs of being ready with their digitach support systems.

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