Brussels, 14 January 2014
President, Honourable Members, Dear Mrs Ticau,
The Commission welcomes the final compromise text agreed between Council and Parliament, which the Council has adopted as its position at first reading on 15 November 2013.
The Commission considers that a good overall balance between the interests at hand has been reached, in terms of road safety, fair competition, working conditions for drivers and the interests of the manufacturing and haulage industries.
The revised Regulation will increase road safety by reducing the possibility for tampering with the tachograph. Higher standards for workshops entrusted to install and calibrate the tachograph will also help to reduce fraud and manipulation. This will ensure better compliance with rules on driving times and rest periods. Drivers will thus be better protected, road safety increased and fair competition be assured.
The proposal introduces a number of technological improvements such as a satellite positioning function (GNSS) and an interface for Intelligent Transport Systems.
Furthermore, the new tachographs will allow control authorities to access it through remote communication, for the purpose of roadside controls. This will help reducing the administrative burden created by random checks on transport undertakings and make enforcement more effective.
Certain vehicles will be excluded from the scope of the Regulation. The exemptions have been carefully balanced with the need to ensure road safety. Notably, craftsmen, for which driving is not the main activity, will not have to use a tachograph within a 100 km radius from the base of their undertaking. This as well will contribute to smarter legislation, to the beenfits of SME.
The Commission thanks the Parliament for its good cooperation and looks forward to the endorsement of the Council position at first reading, so that the new smart tachograph is available on the market as soon as possible.