Hungarian HGV driver jailed for tacho offences

A Hungarian haulier who was found to be using a magnet to interfere with his tachograph and speed limiter has been jailed for four months and given a driving ban.

VOSA and Devon and Cornwall Police ordered truck driver Gabor Fuksz off the A30 in Truro after he was spotted travelling at 80mph. VOSA examiners then discovered he had been using a magnet to interfere with tacho and speed limiter equipment.

According to VOSA, during the 29 January check, Fuksz acted suspiciously by sticking his arm near the gearbox in the 44t artic, which was being operated by Co Armagh, Northern Ireland based Ballykeel Freight.

He moved the magnet and placed it on the underside of the fifth wheel coupling. In addition to tampering with a tacho, a magnet can be used to disable a speed limiter device, which is meant to limit the vehicle to the legal 56mph.

At Truro Magistrates on 30 January Fuksz was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison and given a 15-month driving ban for dangerous driving and tachograph alteration offences.

"Unfortunately, it seems to be the most prevalent form of interference with tachographs that we are coming across," a VOSA spokesman says.

Drivers caught falsifying a record face a maximum penalty of £5,000 and two years' imprisonment. They can also be liable for further offences under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act, which carries larger penalties for drivers and operators.

Last year a Dutch driver appeared on TV to allege that he faced the sack from one haulier in Holland because he refused to use a magnet to alter digital tachograph data.