What are the road checks, what is the focus of the officials? How are violations of driving time and rest periods punished? What is actually checked with regard to social regulations? Such and similar questions occupy not only drivers but also businessmen.
Answering these questions is not easy and can not be generalized. Finally, the individual control groups have certain priorities on what their focus is on. Of course, there is a framework in the so-called Control Directive 2006/22 / EC. However, the following can also be found in Article 4 (3):
Article 4 – Roadside checks
3. The points to be verified at roadside checks are set out in Part A of Annex I. Checks may focus on a specific point if the situation so requires.
The directive was published in the S.I. No. 545/2007 – European Communities (Road Transport Activities Checks) Regulations 2007 and transposed into national law. Accordingly, the abovementioned Directive also allows setting certain priorities at the Roadside checks.
- checking daily and weekly driving times,
- the review of rest breaks as well
- the review of daily and weekly rest periods and
- moreover, of course, the data recorded by the tachograph during the same period.
- Also, the detection of any manipulation of the recordings in the tachograph and on the driver card is the focus of the directive.
Interestingly, the speed control in the Control Directive 2006/22 / EC is explicitly set as follows:
… any period of more than one minute, during which the speed of the vehicle has exceeded 90 km/h for vehicles of category N3 or 105 km/h for vehicles of category M3.
(N3: Motor vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of goods with a maximum authorized mass of more than 12 tonnes and M3: motor vehicles designed and built for passenger transport with more than eight seats other than the driver’s seat and a maximum authorized mass of more than 5 tonnes.)
A Roadside check interview with a Gardai and proDRIVERS
An Garda Siochana and the Road Safety Authority are responsible for the enforcement of regulations regarding drivers hours and Tachograph regulations. One way in which the Authorities enforce these regulations is through intercept checkpoints and patrol inspections.
The focus of these inspections is driver and road user safety. During these inspections, the Control Officer will carry out visual inspection of the vehicle to ensure that the vehicle is roadworthy. If there is anything of concern then the vehicle can be brought for an enforcement test (same as ÇVRT Test).
Following this, the driver is then inspected to ensure he is compliant. Papers such as Driving Licence, DQC, Driver card, Operator Licence and Documents are inspected.
Enforcement officers carry specialist equipment for the retrieval of digital information from both the vehicle tachograph and the drivers’ card. They also carry specialist analysing software for the examination of this digital tachograph and driver card data.
During the course of this examination, a Roadside Check Form is completed which is required to be signed by the driver. The driver will receive a copy of this form regardless if there is an infringement or not.
If there are any infringements they are assessed and dealt with in order of severity. The outcome of the examination can result in either No Infringement, Roadside Caution, Prohibition of Driving, Court Summons or Arrest and Charged to appear before Court.
Each case is assessed individually.
The main focus of the enforcement officer is the driver and public safety. For example, if the driver does not have a history of breaches then a minor breach could be dealt with by way of caution and roadside prohibition. In the same circumstance where a driver has previously received a caution, then the driver may face a Court Summons as well as a prohibition.
If the breaches are deemed major or very serious then the driver could face arrest.
Speed is checked however we do not prosecute for overspending detected through the tachograph.
Manual entries are checked and are verified before accepting them as genuine.
Start and end locations are checked against CMR documents and ferry tickets as well as checking mileage.
By and large, the controls are based on the same principle. Social regulations and related manipulations of records are top priorities. If evidence is incomplete or not plausible, the Roadside check will take a bit longer, will affect the drivers time, delivery time, work finishing time, e.t.c. If it is not clear beyond doubt that the social rules have been complied with, the onward journey will be prohibited. If proof can not be furnished or it is not clear, that a rest period has not been set or a driving time has been exceeded immediately, the insertion of the rest period is arranged on the spot.