From 2022, No More Toll Payment Queues on Croatian Motorways

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Starting from 2022, the tolls on motorways managed by Croatian Motorways (HAC) and the Rijeka-Zagreb Motorway (ARZ) companies will be charged by the DSRC system (Dedicated Short-Range Communications) or via the Automatic License Plate Reader (ALPR) system. The new toll collection system has been recommended by Spanish consultants from IDOM Consulting, who won the tender announced by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure to develop the new toll collection system, reports Večernji List on January 14, 2019.

The consultants have suggested the so-called “free flow” toll collection system with multiple lanes. The system will be contactless and non-cash. The DSRC system means that vehicles must have a device or transponder installed through which the mileage would be monitored and the toll calculated. This system is similar to the existing ENC, but DSRC works without vehicles having to slow down. The consultants’ plan is for the DSRC system to be required in commercial vehicles, while it would be optional for passenger vehicles, which would also be able to opt for ALPR. However, the new toll system will primarily be based on DSRC, while the Croatian authorities still have to decide whether ALPR is even needed.

The transponders will be purchased or rented, and their price is about 10 euro each. It is anticipated that the sales points for these transponders will be located at all border crossings, at seaports, on strategic locations on motorways, and in major Croatian cities. Also, the devices will also be distributed through shops, gas stations and mail.

The Croatian DSRC system will be compatible with similar systems in other countries, so for example, Italian drivers, who have been using this system for years, will be able to use their transponders to pay for tolls in Croatia. The transponder will sound a signal warning the driver about the transaction, and will also have a built-in sensor that will detect whether it has been removed from the holder. It is expected that the transponder battery will last for more than six years.

DSRC users will be able to sign for the so-called “prepaid contracts,” while those who wish to pay tolls after driving will have to register, i.e. they will have to provide information about their credit cards or bank accounts.

In the first year of implementation of the new system, it is expected that 60 per cent of transactions will be made through DSRC. Over time, more and more drivers will use the transponders. According to experience from other EU countries, the maximum average use of transponders in transactions is about 80 per cent. In Portugal, for example, 78 per cent of transactions are done with transponders. Hungary has reached the share of 83 per cent in 2017, and it started with 24.5 per cent in 2013.

The future system will be installed at the locations of current toll stations. These sites will also include control points. The toll collection sites and control points will have portals above the motorways with DSRC antennas and cameras that will automatically detect and classify vehicles. Also, toll collection controls will be performed by mobile units, vehicles equipped with DSRC antennas, each of which will cover 80 kilometres of highway.

According to unofficial estimates, the introduction of the new system would cost about 500 million kuna, and the annual maintenance costs would amount to approximately 60 million kuna. The start of the introduction of the new toll collection system is expected in January 2021. For the first year, the new system will coexist with the existing system, which means that the next to the toll booths there will be the so-called “free flow” lanes.

More news on the Croatian motorways can be found in our Travel section.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Josip Bohutinski).


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