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Brussels, 17th October 2007

Digital tachograph for road transport: Commission takes Greece to the Court of Justice

The European Commission today launched a court proceeding against Greece for failure to properly introduce the digital tachograph system. This tamper proof recording equipment is essential to make sure that all professional drivers and operators engaged in transport of goods and passengers respect the common European rules on driving time and rest periods. These rules ensure that professional drivers take their rest and do not drive excessive hours, thus improving their social conditions and road safety for all.

Regulation 3821/85 requires that digital tachographs must be fitted into all goods vehicles and buses that come into scope of the Drivers' Hours Rules and that are registered after 1st May 2006. Greece has failed to take all the required measures. In particular, Greece had not yet established its national card issuing authority and system for producing and securely distributing the tachograph cards. These include Driver Cards used by drivers; Control Cards used by enforcers to access and check the data on the digital tachograph; Company Cards used by transport operators to download data; and Workshop Cards necessary for digital tachographs to become fully operational.

As a result, drivers who have their residence in Greece can not obtain secure driver cards and digital tachographs can not be used by transport undertakings established in Greece. This is a serious handicap for Greek road transport companies, because they are not allowed to travel to other EU countries with vehicles registered after 1st May 2006.

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