The FTA has refuted the European Commission’s claim that logistics firms will save a total of €500m (£447m) through increased efficiencies due to the introduction of a new generation of  smart tachographs.

While the FTA agrees with the EC that the requirement to fit smart tachographs to all new HGVs will aid compliance with the drivers’ hours rules, it does not believe it will bring about substantial savings to the freight industry.

James Firth, FTA’s head of road freight regulation, said: “Smart tachographs will aid enforcement of the drivers’ hours’ rules; regrettably, enforcement agencies across Europe face a constant battle against those who would try to compete unfairly by driving beyond the legal maximum hours.

“The next generation tachographs herald a new era in the fight against lorry drivers’ driving when fatigued, but while they will help with enforcement, but they will not save the industry substantial money."

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He added: “Fortunately for drivers, they will notice little change; the new models look identical to their predecessors and drivers do not need to replace their tachograph cards.

“Furthermore, the added satellite location data will help authorities to catch non-UK based operators who work illegally in the UK market.

“The satellite location function does not provide live tracking, a common misconception, instead, it takes a location 'stamp' at start and end of duty and every three hours of continuous driving.”

The new law came into force last week.

  •'s sister title Commercial Motor is running a free webinar session, which will explain everything you need to know about smart tachograph technology. The  new generation of on-board, mandatory digital recorders to enforce drivers’ hours rules is the biggest change in tachograph legislation in 12 yearsThis one-hour webinar, held in conjunction with tachograph analysis specialist Aquarius on 18 June at 2pm, will explain all. Find out more and register at the webinar microsite today.