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GP: Digital Tachographs - Poland PDF Print E-mail
Recording equipment (the so-called TACHOGRAPH), installed in vehicle which is used in the road transport under the provisions of the Council Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85. It records driving time, period of works other periods of availability, breaks in work and daily rest periods, as well as vehicle speed and distance of the journey.
There are analogue tachographs obligatory in the EU Member States (including Poland) which record data on paper record sheets (paper discs).

After 30 years being in use, it has been found that the analogue recording equipment is technologically outdated, not economically effective and make it possible to falsify and manipulate the data recorded. The analogue tachographs do not satisfy anymore the purpose they were introduced for, which means efficient control of the drivers` compliance with the so-called social regulations, and consequently - do not serve the improvement of the road traffic safety.

Supported by the road transport industry and social partners, the European Commission (EC) decided to implement the most technologically advanced device that effectively controls drivers and undertakings performing the road transport activity, i.e. DIGITAL TACHOGRAPH (DT). All parties are of the opinion that introduction of the DT will bring a major advantage to the road safety by ensuring that professional drivers keep to their driving and rest times.
In 1998-2002 appropriate regulations were issued, among them: Council Regulation (EC) No 2135/98 amending Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 on recording equipment in road transport and Directive 88/599/EEC, and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1360/2002 adapting for the seventh time to technical progress Council Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 (including technical Annex IB).
Since 1 May 2004 these Regulations are directly applicable in Poland.

In accordance with the existing provisions, vehicles put into service for the first time as of 5 August 2004 must be fitted with the recording equipment (DT) meeting requirements of the Annex IB mentioned above.
Because of the mainly technical reasons, the stipulated deadline is not possible to be fulfilled by the Member States. In this complex situation, the EC decided to introduce the 12 months moratorium (in the form of the letter sent to all 25 state transport administrations in the EU MS), starting from 5 August 2004.
Appropriate legal provisions, which include the new deadline, are being prepared.

It means, that since 5 August 2005 all newly registered vehicles used in the road transport (under the Regulation 3820/85) will have to be fitted with the digital tachograph.
At least 3 months earlier, i.e. 5 May 2005, in the Member States the efficiently operating card issuing system must be ready.
In this new technology, not only tachograph, but also the so-called intelligent personal driver card will register events occurring during the driving period.
Complete recording equipment consists of many devices of which the most important are: the stationary tachograph fitted in the vehicle, cables and the calibrated motion sensor. The DT shall co-operate with the driver, control, workshop, and company digital cards.

Implementation of the digital tachographs will impose the new tasks and obligations on governmental administrations and all users of this system.
The road transport operators will be able to organise more effectively and supervise the drivers' activities in the road transport. In practice the drivers will be forced to obey the social provisions in the road transport, especially obligatory break and rest periods, driving speed and generally - road safety rules.
DT system establishes new opportunities in context of vehicles fleet and goods carried management.
Enforcers will be obliged to change control procedures and methods, to differentiate sanctions provided for not observing the legal provisions and to improve their technical equipment.
Workshops, after fulfilling the wide range of the high state requirements will have to obtain an authorization from the competent Member State authority.
To achieve operational efficiency and the planned results of the digital tachograph system in the European Union the very close co-operation between all Member State's authorities, institutions engaged and European Commission is needed. The suitable security systems for the DT and digital cards are very important to enable safe data interchanging, both between enforcers and on the Member State administration level.

There is no appropriate ministry/institution in Poland at the moment, which could co-ordinate DT implementation process. What is more, the weak Polish budget does not allow to create completely new institution, which could take this responsibility.
Taking all these into account, the Polish Prime Minister published on 30 April 2004 the Disposition No 46 introducing the Intergovernmental Collective Body for implementation of the digital tachographs system in Poland, as the advisory body to him. Under-Secretary of State in the Ministry of Infrastructure has been appointed to chair the CB, while the Secretariat of it has been located in the Road Transport Department of the MI.
The general aim of this Body is to prepare a systematic solutions for the DT implementation based on the Community and the Polish legislation, as well as experience of other EU MS.
The CB consists of representatives of the: Ministry of Infrastructure, Ministry of Interior and Administration, Ministry of Economy and Labour, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Defence, Main Office of Measures, General Road Transport Inspectorate, Headquarters of the Police, Office for European Integration Committee.
The representatives of other governmental and non-governmental authorities and bodies, social partners, professionals, scientists and experts can be and already are, invited to the CB meetings.

So far, there were four meetings of CB organised in the MI. The main competencies and tasks of particular ministries and offices have been already described.
The CB concept as concerns the Card Issuing Authority (CIA) suggested that CIA would be in the competencies of the Ministry of Infrastructure, however the decentralised model of operation and realisation of the personalisation of digital cards should be chosen. It means that that task will be transferred to the non-governmental, self-financing institution.
The Council of Ministers has to take a final decision on that.
At the same time the working group in the frames of the CB started preparation of the national legal act which shall stipulate all competencies and tasks of the particular ministries, governmental offices and institutions involved in the creation of the digital tachograph system.
Ministry of Finances will provide efficient budgetary resources for 2005 necessary for all works realised by the governmental administration for the DT system implementation.

A rapid and efficient DT system implementation in Poland is crucial from the point of view of economic interests of the significant number of the Polish transport operators, motor vehicles industry workers, workshops for installation and repair services of digital tachographs.
One has to take into consideration that regarding to the transitional arrangements for the period 5.08.2004-5.08.2005, described in the EC moratorium mentioned above, Member State authorities shall not register vehicles with the digital tachograph and put them into circulation, if the MS is not able to issue tachograpch cards.
Lack of the cards and digital recording equipment after 5 August 2005 will make the road transport operators impossible to use the new vehicles (both in the country and abroad) and to operate on the EU road transport market in terms of equal competitiveness. In the longer period it may cause distortions for the international trade development and in this context - may have adverse impact on the Polish economy.

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