Release Date: 16 April 2010
Release ID: 4640
IRU General Assembly asserts blind adherence to the 16 June 2010 AETR deadline will damage the integrity of the digital tachograph system and jeopardise investments made to date, with prejudicial consequences on road safety and international trade.
Geneva - The IRU General Assembly today adopted a Resolution on the UNECE AETR Agreement and the implementation of the digital tachograph, strongly warning Contracting Party Governments to the UN AETR Agreement that blind adherence to unworkable politically set deadlines will cause serious disruption of international road transport and compromise the security and road safety benefits realised to date, while jeopardising the heavy investments in the digital tachograph system.
IRU President, Janusz Lacny, said, “The IRU fully supports the introduction of digital tachographs for all AETR operations as fast as possible. This road safety device is crucial for monitoring the rest and work levels of drivers. For this reason, its implementation should not be rushed but, rather, done in a thorough and secure way. If highly sensitive tasks, such as card issuing, are conducted with speed rather than security as their guiding principle, the integrity of the digital tachograph system across the whole AETR region, including the EU, could be jeopardised and, with it, road safety due to potential fraudulent card use.”
The IRU Resolution also emphasises the industry’s concerns about the impact on trade. It is estimated that, by mid 2010, as many as 50,000 vehicles from non EU countries could be equipped with digital tachographs. If these vehicles can no longer circulate legally due to the requirements relating to driver card use and calibrations, then trade carried by road between the EU, the CIS, Turkey and the Western Balkans, amounting to € 175.5 billion in 2007, could be seriously disrupted.
As required by Amendment 5 to the AETR Agreement, all new vehicles put into service for the first time under the AETR must be fitted with a digital tachograph as of 16 June 2010. From then on, all vehicles, including those already circulating, must be calibrated by an approved workshop and operated by drivers with personalised driver cards issued by their governments. However, for most non-EU AETR countries, this will simply not be possible for at least 12 months after the entry into force of this new requirement.
The IRU Resolution therefore calls upon governments to adopt the contingency plan developed by a dedicated UN Working group at their meeting on 22-23 April 2010, in order to permit drivers of vehicles equipped with digital tachograph from insufficiently prepared countries to continue working as long as they calibrate their devices at the first opportunity abroad where approved workshops exist. Thereafter, they can be controlled via tachograph printouts, until being issued with driver cards.
Finally, as the value of the digital tachograph system is based on its security, the IRU Resolution insists that this tolerance period should be extended as long as needed for Contracting Party Governments to complete their implementation of the device while protecting the security of the system.
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