Manipulation digital control unit in Germany - driver more than 12 hours nonstop on the road

Published Sat, 22/09/2018 - 10:05

The European Union has established a framework of social rules for goods and passenger road transport operators with three complementary goals:

  • to ensure the adequate social protection of road transport workers;
  • to guarantee fair competition between undertakings;
  • to improve road safety by averting road fatigue.


Every day special trained police officers can find illegal technical equipment installed in trucks and coaches for tampering with tachographs to hide the driving times.  

The joint Tispol / ECR  Tacho Web Working Group focuses on this kind of manipulations, develops strategies to find them and trains enforcers in detecting this fraud. Manipulation of digital tachographs was as well one topic during the last TISPOL-Road-Policing-Seminar, that was held in Germany from 6th to 10th of August. 

One current case the German police from Offenburg found shows again the dangerousness of tampering with driving times: 

The police officers saw a Czech ADR truck fully loaded with dangerous goods (UN 3077) on the highway A5, that was driving serpentine lines. Although the truck was stopped while driving on the highway the officers saw in the digital data of the tachograph, that only resting time was stored for the last 4 hours. In addition to his recorded driving time the driver sat more than 12 hours behind the steering wheel, what obviously was causing a fatigue (driving in serpentine lines). Due to suspicion of a technical manipulation of the tachograph the police officers ordered the truck to a workshop. Here they found some additional equipment for tampering the driving time. Two black boxes were found in the dashboard. For activating the manipulation the driver had to push break and gas pedals in a certain combination. Now - until the next stop - resting time instead driving time was stored.

In Germany those suspicious companies have to pay fines up to 20.000 € each case, and the workshop costs for bringing the truck in correct condition again.