OR­ANGE BUS DRAWS TAG FANS

Public Sector Manager - - News -

Ea­ger mo­torists waited pa­tiently in long queues out­side a bright or­ange bus to buy tags for au­to­mated elec­tronic toll pay­ment at pro­mo­tions held in Dur­ban and Pi­eter­mar­itzburg shop­ping malls dur­ing a re­cent ac­ti­va­tion in the KwaZulu-Na­tal prov­ince. This was part of a pub­lic aware­ness cam­paign by the South African Na­tional Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL) to co­in­cide with the roll-out of au­to­mated elec­tronic toll pay­ment in the prov­ince. Au­to­mated elec­tronic toll pay­ment is an ad­di­tional pay­ment method to al­le­vi­ate traf­fic con­ges­tion, to save time for road users and to mi­grate to­wards mod­ern trends in cash­less tolling. With this method of toll col­lec­tion, no cash trans­ac­tions take place. A tag is fit­ted to the wind­screen of a ve­hi­cle. Ve­hi­cles equipped with a tag will slow down on ap­proach to the toll booms. When the transpon­der in the tag is read by the tag reader mounted in the toll lane, the boom will open, al­low­ing the ve­hi­cle to pass at a speed of about 30km per hour with­out hav­ing to stop, thus sav­ing valu­able time and en­ergy. Lanes for mo­torists who want to pay man­u­ally will still be avail­able. Au­to­mated elec­tronic toll pay­ment will not re­sult in an in­crease in the ex­ist­ing toll tar­iffs. E-tags will com­ple­ment the ex­ist­ing tra­di­tional toll col­lec­tion method which re­quires mo­torists to stop at a booth to pay a toll fee ei­ther with cash or a card. As long as there is money on the tag, it will operate across all tolls in South Africa. With au­to­mated pay­ment, up to three times more ve­hi­cles can pass through a toll plaza than when hav­ing to stop and pay with cash. This form of toll pay­ment is dis­tinctly dif­fer­ent from the open road tolling on the in­ner Gaut­eng High­ways which has overhead gantries to read e-tags and al­lows mo­torists to drive at high­way speeds with­out hav­ing to slow down or stop at a phys­i­cal toll plaza. Mo­torists who pur­chased tags dur­ing the SANRAL cam­paign were full of praise.

• Phiwe Nkomo: “I was al­ways in a hurry and au­to­mated elec­tronic toll pay­ment will save me time and in­con­ve­nience. Hav­ing an e-tag will also mean that I do not have to carry cash when go­ing through tolls.”

• Me­gan Ni­col: “I can­not wait to get 12 e-tags. The com­pany I work for al­ready has five. Our com­pany ve­hi­cles travel through sev­eral tolls. Hav­ing e-tags will help with the book­keep­ing.”

• Trevor Don­nelly: “I cover 6 000km each week and an e-tag will save me

a lot of time.”

• Max­ine Mu­ru­gan: “SANRAL takes care of the na­tional road network in or­der for it to be well main­tained. E-tags help to im­prove traf­fic flow and con­ges­tion.”

• Satish De­biper­shad: “I bought an e-tag so that I will not have to carry cash and will save time by not hav­ing to wait in queues.”

• Jus­tice Sha­bal­ala: “As a site man­ager for HIV coun­sel­lors I travel big dis­tances. With the e-tag, I can jump the queue. There is no need to stop and there will be no need to carry money when go­ing through tolls.”

• Lungile Ndlovu: “I’m aware that the ‘user-pay’ prin­ci­ple en­ables SANRAL to use toll fees to pro­vide roads sooner and more ef­fec­tively than tra­di­tional tax-based rev­enues. My com­pany car has a tag, but I’m get­ting one for my per­sonal car. I’m en­cour­ag­ing my fam­ily to reg­is­ter for e-tags.”

Tags are easy to get: or­der one on­line at www.sanral.co.za or by phon­ing the call cen­tre on 0800 SANRAL (726 725).

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