Labour and Greens wrong to demand tachographs for smaller vehicles

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford has criticised the call by MEPs including Labour and Greens, including their London MEPs, for tachographs on vans.

Tachographs ('spy in the cab') were introduced under an EU regulation of 1985 to save lives by ensuring proper rest periods for long-distance lorry and coach drivers. It only covers vehicles over 3.5 tonnes. But Socialist and Green groups in the European Parliament this week successfully pushed through a demand for installation of tachographs in vehicles above 2.8 tonnes in an anticipated revision of the law. A demand from Green MEPs for the weight threshold to be lowered even further, to 1.5 tonnes, was defeated.

Sarah Ludford commented:

“Imposing tachographs on vans would create an unnecessary red tape burden on London's small businesses. When they are struggling to survive and keep jobs, that's crazy."


"Making small businesses or self-employed van drivers record every journey and endure additional inspections would be bureaucracy gone mad. What's their next target - black cabs?”


“Lib Dems are leading the fight to improve road safety across Europe, but we insist that the administrative burdens for the road transport sector are proportionate and sensible."


Notes to Editors

Six million European trucks and busses are equipped with tachographs. The digital tachograph was made mandatory for new vehicles in 2006.

The draft report and amendments can be seen read here:


Type of article: