The cost of fuel is now a serious worry to almost every driver, but anyone planning a trip of more than 62 miles away from home should also make sure there is no chance their car might break down. Motorists using roadside rescue organisations, who offer a guarantee of a lift home in the event of a breakdown, are being left stranded at service stations following the introduction of EU health and safety laws.
New rules forbid rescue tow trucks from travelling more than 62 miles from their bases unless they are fitted with a tachograph. Both the AA and RAC use hundreds of trucks which are not fitted with the equipment and so "rescued" drivers are being dropped off part-way home and being made to wait for another truck to take them on the next leg of their trip. The vast majority of breakdown truck journeys are short distances, often only to the nearest approved garage. This is why few tow trucks have tachographs fitted. The longer distance “rescue” journeys are relatively rare and breakdown companies had asked for the application of common sense to allow an exemption to the new rules.
The Department of Transport could have allowed such an exemption but of course it has been many years since any British Government stood up to the dicktats of Brussels or gave any consideration for the practical consequences to the British public of enforcing more and more poorly thought through EU Regulations in this Country.