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Even if you 'only' drive a motor car, or at the most a transporter, make a note of it for your next holiday trip. A truck having a gross weight of over 3,5 tons may only be driven for 4,5 hours without interruption. After that, a break of 45 minutes is compulsory.

Normally, after a period of 9 hours driving time a break of 11 hours is mandatory. This driving time may be extended by one hour but then, only twice a week. This means a driving time of maximum 56 hours, which may not be repeated because for two weeks, the limit is 90 hours.

Surprisingly, these, or similar rules do not apply to train drivers. Therefore, the locomotive driving time must not be checked. Because in trucks however, apart from the the resting times, the driven speed is also registered, which sometimes makes the recording device the target of considerable manipulation.

It is said that the device which has been valid from 2005 (see figure), is secure in this respect. Of course, in this case, alterations are only possible with professional help, and a great del of criminal energy is necessary. The flawless functioning of the sensors is also supervised. Simply pulling out the plug is not particularly intelligent.

The device itself is only about the size of a standerd car radio and can be installed independent of the speedometer, e.g., above the windscreen. It consists of an operating field, two chip-card readers and a sort of protocol printer. There are four different kinds of chip-card assigned to it, that of the driver (white), the company (yellow), the ordinance authorities (blue) and for the workshop (red).

This puts an end to the tiresome filling out of the tachograph-disc. By means of a card printer, the respective control-boards are able to equip the drivers card with a photo and the most important personal data. Manipulating the card by 'losing' it within the 5 years validity period, is also not that easy, because, e.g., theft of the card must be reported to the police. 07/10