[ Changed 21st October 1998 ]
Tachographs are used in most heavy vehicles in Europe to control drivers' hours, and for secondary purposes ranging from investigating accidents and toxic waste dumping to the detection of fuel fraud. Their effectiveness is under threat from increasing levels of sophisticated fraud and manipulation. I will discuss this in the context of recent EU proposals to move to smartcard-based tachograph systems, which are aimed at cutting fraud and improving the level of enforcement generally. I will argue that the proposed new regime will be extremely vulnerable to the wholesale forgery of smartcards and to system-level manipulation; it has the potential to lead to a large-scale breakdown in control. I will then sketch some potential solutions.