Under the EU drivers’ hours rules, Member States are required to ensure transport undertakings that use vehicles fitted with a tachograph download all relevant data from the vehicle unit and driver card regularly. To meet this requirement the Passenger and Goods Vehicles (Recording Equipment) (Downloading and Retention of Data) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 were made following a UK-wide public consultation in 2007.
These Regulations amended the Passenger and Goods Vehicles (Recording Equipment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996 to require drivers in scope of the EU drivers’ hours rules to return records of their activities to their employer from the driver card within a maximum of every 28 days. The Regulations also require operators to ensure tachograph data is not lost, by downloading data from the vehicle unit within a maximum of every 56 days. Drivers and operators must keep the downloaded data safe and make the data accessible to enforcement officers if required.
Commission Regulation (EU) No 581/2010, adopted on 1 July 2010, introduced maximum periods for the downloading of relevant data and specified that digital tachograph data from the vehicle unit should be downloaded at least every 90 days before it is overwritten.
The Department is considering amending the requirement in NI law so that data must be downloaded within 90 days (rather than the current 56).