New overheads for motorists

Posted On Friday, 27 March 2009 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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In a move that could signal the end of toll booths in SA, government is poised to introduce the first of a new scheme, open road tolling.

Road InfrastructureIn a move that could signal the end of toll booths in SA, government is poised to introduce the first of a new scheme — open road tolling (ORT).

The once ubiquitous toll plazas are expected to disappear slowly from SA’s highways, to be replaced with this automatic electronic scanning system.

According to the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral), the overhead gantries on newly upgraded roads will be fitted with detection cameras that have number-plate recognition capabilities, or by aerial transceivers that will scan a special electronic tag on vehicle windscreens. Motorists will be billed at the end of each month and will have seven days in which to settle their accounts.

Sanral hopes to have a system in place eventually that will make it possible for regular users of toll roads who register and have electronic tags fitted to their cars to be billed through their bank accounts, so that payment can be done over the Internet and at ATMs as well as through customer service centres, by cellphone and even at petrol stations and supermarkets.

Sanral CE Nazir Alli says the agency is working with the Road Traffic Management Corp to put in place a new points demerit system to deal with non payment of tolls. Points will be deducted for each incident of non payment, and could result in motorists having their licence suspended for a time.

Ali says the first ORT pilot project will get under way in Gauteng around November next year and is expected to include sections of the N1, N3, N12 and R21 freeways. It will be extended to other parts of the country over a two-year period.

Under the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project about 150km of the province’s freeway system has already been upgraded. Some sections will have as many as six lanes in each direction.


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