Manipulating Tachographs On the Rise,

ROADPOL Truck&Bus Operation Reveals


LUX FEB 2020 191 PHOTO: POLICE.LU13 MAR - Maliciously manipulating tachographs is on the rise, results from the latest ROADPOL Truck&Bus Operation reveal.

In 4 255 cases the tachographs were not properly managed and in further 796 cases manipulations of digital tachographs were detected during the pan-European operation carried out from 8th to 15th February.

A total of 240 924 trucks and 88 505 buses were checked during the campaign. Comparison with the results from ROADPOL Truck&Bus Operation of October 2020 shows this specific violations clearly on the rise. Five months ago 321 cases of manipulating tachographs were detected out of 206 304 trucks checked.

Henk Jansen NLHenk Jansen”Fumbling with the settings of the tachograph or even manipulating those takes on larger forms every year“, ROAPDOL Operational work group secretary, Henk Jansen from the National Police of the Netherlands comments. The reason for this type of fraud might be the substantial competitive pressure in this ever-growing industry. The financial benefits for transporters may be large, but the risks for road safety are greater”, Jansen warns.


Contrary to expectations of low member participation the operation was a clear success. Despite the attention many police forces had to devote to enforcing COVID19 pandemic restrictive measures, a total of 19/16 countries took part in operation Truck/Bus respectively.



Finland Covid Truck BusPhoto: POLIISI.FIDuring this control week 72.451 violations were found (trucks: 66.919, buses: 5.532). 1 889 times the onward journey had to be prohibited until the proper condition of the vehicles or load had been restored, thereof 1.769 trucks and 120 buses. The violation rate was 26,93% for freight transport and 4,57% for buses. “For freight traffic, this means that a violation was found in almost 1 in 3 trucks checked. Fortunately, that number is lower for buses. This shows that freight traffic represents a major risk to road safety and that monitoring is still necessary”, Officer Jansen comments. He explains the high violation rate with European police officers' very high standard of training in heavy traffic controls. Most offences were found in the areas of speed, technical offences, seat belts and other safety restraints and vehicle documents law for buses and in the areas of speed, technical offences and legislation on driving and rest times. 11.061 drivers (trucks 10.773, buses 288) offended against Europe-wide valid social regulations, meaning they drove their vehicle for longer than legally allowed without complying the mandatory breaks. “Unfortunately, 116 drivers were also found taking part in road traffic under the influence of alcohol, as well as 34 drivers under the influence of drugs”, Jansen reveals.


“Collisions involving goods vehicles usually have particularly serious consequences. The main causes of collisions are speed, insufficient load securing, driver fatigue and technical defects of the vehicles which are all counteracted by the checks”, the expert explains. In 4 077 cases (3 969 trucks, 108 buses) serious technical defects were found. 2 072 trucks and 84 buses were found with overweight. The load was not well secured on 1 315 trucks.

With the controlled buses most violations were noted by the use of seat belt (438), excessive speed (1 342) and technical defects (108). 288 bus drivers also had exceeded the legally permitted driving times.


In addition to the punishment of violations, the drivers are also informed by the officers about the risk of the offence such as insufficient securing of load, not wearing seat belt or fatigue due to exceeding driving times. “Discussions are also carried out on the constantly increasing problem of distraction especially due to usage of mobile phones or other electronic devices which should also be countered during these checks. The results of the operation show that inspections in the area of ​​heavy goods traffic and passenger transport are still an important approach to improve traffic safety”, Henk Jansen from the National Police in the Netherlands concludes.

The next ROADPOL Truck & Bus operation will take place from 10th to 16th May 2021.