Out of Scope – what is it?

Since the introduction of the digital tachograph, probably the best-known feature: OUT. Many do not really know what this function is all about and what OUT means. Presumably, that’s the reason why some myths are entwined around this function. Therefore, we take to the topic again.

OUT comes from the long version “OUT of Scope” and means “Outside the scope“. In this context, the scope of the EU regulations on driving and rest periods Regulation (EC) 561/2006 and Tachograph Regulation (EU) 165/2014 is meant. OUT means that the digital tachograph does not have to be used. Yet this is not in any regulation! OUT of scope can only be found in technical appendix 1B or 1C of the Tachograph Regulation. There it is described that the tachograph must have this function.


But what good is a function, if nowhere is mentioned, when this function may be used or should or must?

It could be deduced from the systematics of the regulations that it makes sense to use this function if the two aforementioned regulations do not apply due to a relevant exemption. On the premises, this might be the case.

However, only if;

1 – the journey is not in connection with a recordable journey and

2 – the area is fenced and provided with an access restriction and thus, in fact, is considered a non-public road traffic area.


However, whether the function OUT is used in these cases or not, is the driver free decision. Since there is no provision concerning this function, or it cannot found.


What happens with OUT and how is it activated?

OUT is just a marker, so to speak a note in the recorded data in the mass storage. No more and no less. The tachograph is not switched off and it, therefore, records normally. Only the implemented warnings regarding the driving time have been suppressed since the device versions since October 2011.


The function does not turn itself on if e.g. the driver card is removed. Again, one hears the most adventurous stories. The technical appendix to the Tachograph Regulation stipulates that the function must be deactivated automatically when inserting the driver card. The same applies when ejecting the driver card in OUT mode. However, the latter makes no sense according to the system of regulations. Set OUT while a driver card inserted in the device is technically possible, but it contradicts the purpose of the regulations as well as their system.


“The conclusion of Out of Scope”

As always, when something is not or is not consistently regulated, there is scope for own interpretations and behaviours. Why the legislature in Brussels prescribes a function but then does not regulate their use remains a mystery. Presumably, it may also be related to the fact that those responsible at the EU do not really have the overall context and the technical systems in view.

Blog: driving and rest period

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