Two Irish bus companies hit with significant fines following tachograph violations
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has fined two bus operators for breach of road safety regulations, with the fines totalling €11,000.
Citi Bus Limited and Last Bus Limited of Moorhill House, Brannockstown, Kildare, trading as Dublin Coach, went before Naas District Court for breaches of tachograph and drivers' hours regulations.
Both companies operate a road passenger business.
As per the official RSA website, digital tachographs are devices fitted to buses and trucks that record the amount of time drivers spend driving and resting, as well as capturing data about the vehicle.
On 5 February 2018, Citi Bus Limited pleaded guilty to six charges of failing to produce and hand over records at the request of an RSA Transport Officer, as well as charges of failing to make regular checks and failing to organise drivers' work to ensure compliance with the regulations.
Further charges included failing to download vehicle units and failure to ensure that the tachograph equipment was functioning correctly.
Naas District Court convicted on the six charges and fined Citi Bus Limited a total of €6,000 and also made a separate award of costs against the company, bringing the total sanction imposed in excess of €7,700.
On 5 March 2018, Last Bus Limited pleaded guilty to six charges of cause and purport to authorise the driver to fail to undergo a daily rest period, and to exceed daily driving in addition to charges for failing to make regular checks.
Driver fatigue is a known risk factor in road collisions and can lead to loss of concentration or a driver falling asleep at the wheel, thus the close regulation of the number of hours that a professional driver can work in a day or week.
Key requirements state that you must not drive without a break for 4.5 hours. After driving for that amount of time, a break of at least 45 minutes is mandatory.
Drivers must also not drive for more than nine hours per day or 56 hours per week. They must also not drive more than 90 hours in two consecutive weeks
The court convicted on the six charges, fining Last Bus Limited a total of €5,000. An award of costs was also made against Last Bus Limited, bringing the total sanction in excess of €5,500.