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Figures released from the DVLA this week show that only 10,640 Smartcards have been issued to drivers in the UK.

With the impending introduction of digital tachographs in May, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) says that drivers need to obtain driver Smartcards sooner rather than later.

FTA deputy chief executive James Hookham said: “Drivers should get smart and get a Smartcard. A recent FTA survey showed that 55 per cent of UK lorry fleets would be acquiring new vehicles fitted with digital tachographs in the first twelve months of the new arrangements and that 78 per cent of companies hire drivers and vehicles. Obtaining Smartcards for drivers and for the company is the very first item on the FTA recommended action plan for dealing with the new technology. Drivers and companies can protect themselves from unnecessary delays and resultant complications if they make their advance plans in good time. My advice is to apply for Smartcards sooner rather than later.’

The start date for any Smartcard applied for now can be delayed by up to 90 days to suit the operational or training situation of the driver and company.

Application forms and advice on Smartcards are available from the DVLA by calling 0870 850 1074.

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