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Joburg drivers set to pay toll fee Print E-mail
25 January 2011
 

The multi-lane free flow electric tolling system will roll out later this year

The new tolling system on freeways will be piloted from April and will come into effect two months later, giving drivers who need them plenty of time to opt for e-tags for seamless e-tolling.

Motorists in Gauteng will soon be paying to drive on provincial freeways as the Open Road Tolling (ORT) system is scheduled to be officially up and running as from June.

Motorists can brace themeselves to pay for using provincial freeways
Motorists can brace themselves to pay for using provincial freeways
The aim of the South African National Roads Agency Limited’s (SANRAL) new electronically operated tolling system on provincial freeways is to ensure that drivers using the roads pay for them.

This multi-lane free flow electric tolling system will be piloted from April, allowing tolls to be charged without vehicles having to stop or slow down.

SANRAL is currently hard at work adding the finishing touches on their 42 toll gantries around the province, which will be fully fitted with toll collection equipment that will recognise the electric transponder (e-tag) fitted onto vehicles.

Toll fees are set to be deducted from the user’s registered e-toll account; those opting for the system will be able to travel without disruptions. A vehicle’s number plate will be photographed from the front and back as part of the verification process, and also for all those that do not have an e-tag.

Wanda Cloete, SANRAL’s project manager: communications says that, “SANRAL will request that Gauteng road users register their vehicles for e-tolling. Road users will have the option to be recognised by their number plates, or by e-tag.”



Register for e-toll
The e-toll account registration, according to her, will be friendly and road users will have the option to register for it through SANRAL; at e-toll customer service kiosks, which are located at malls; e-toll customer service centres, along the freeway network; by phoning in to the call centre; or by purchasing an e-tag.

The e-tag is supplied by SANRAL at no cost. “However, if the user elects to obtain an e-tag, the user will need to deposit a minimum credit (which will be specified by SANRAL) into the user’s e-tolling account. This credit will allow the road user free toll passes in the same amount as the credit deposited.”

The e-tolling account that road users can link to their vehicle can be set up as a pre-paid account with SANRAL. Money can be paid into this account through various options such as retail outlets, the internet, e-toll customer service centres and kiosks.
 
Motorists can also link their e-tolling account to their credit card amount. More than one vehicle can be linked to an e-tolling account.

These tolls will provide a sustainable revenue stream that will be used to upgrade and expand the freeway networks.

Cloete says that, “By using tolling as the funding methods for the upgrading of the national roads in Gauteng, SANRAL is able to provide the much needed infrastructure when it is required.”
 


New number plates
Cameras that will be fitted in at the ORT systems will also be able to read the existing and metal variation number plates. The new number plate system is an eNaTIS initiative and SANRAL is adhering to the specifications by ensuring that the toll equipment is interoperable with all new and old number plates.

“When a vehicle enters the toll area, the equipment on the toll gantry reads the e-tag, takes photographs from the top, front and back and verifies that the vehicle number plate, vehicle class and e-tag are in accordance with the e-toll account registration details, then deducts the toll fee from the e-toll account,” says Cloete.

The toll tariff and discount (which has not yet been approved) is determined by considering the cost of the infrastructure developed and per vehicle class.

Motorists will receive an invoice for their toll fees and will have seven days in which to pay for it, after which an administrative and law enforcement process will commence.

In the event of an accident, a paramedic on a bike will be dispatched to the scene to stabilise the patient, while waiting for the emergency services to arrive. When a vehicle is obstructing traffic (through an accident or has broken down) the vehicle will be towed to the nearest place of safety.

In the future e-tags can be used at any toll plaza that displays the e-tag symbol. Therefore, as more electronic tolling is implemented countrywide at existing or new toll plazas, users do not need to set up a new or additional account.

Registration will commence at the end of the first quarter of 2011.

For further information regarding the ORT system log onto the SANRAL website or call 012 426 6200 or e-mail on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
 


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