Commuters entering national highway toll plaza lanes dedicated for FASTag vehicles will soon have to pay a fine for obstructing the smooth flow of traffic.
As of now, the National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI) has deployed personnel, called ‘marshals’ to eject vehicles without FASTag that enter dedicated lanes at toll plazas.
FASTag employs radio frequency identification (RFID) to make electronic payments. The RFID tag is fitted on the windshield. A scanner mounted on the plaza reads the tag and deducts the toll fee from vehicles. The owner can recharge his FASTag online.
NHAI has launched a campaign to encourage commuters to shift to FASTag to avoid waiting in queues to pay the fee at toll plazas. NHAI general manager (Tech) Y Venkatareddy Parasad said the main challenge for the authority was preventing non-FASTag vehicles from entering the dedicated lanes.
“Such vehicles block the FASTag vehicles and hold up traffic. We deployed marshals from the beginning of this month to prevent this situation. Dedicated lanes are reserved for FASTag vehicles. There is a provision to impose fine, which is double the amount of toll fee, on non-FASTag vehicles making payments on dedicated lanes. We will introduce it soon,” he said.
Reddy said though FASTag was launched almost a year ago, people were yet to make use of it. “According to the latest data, FASTag accounts for about 15 to 20% of the toll collection. NHAI has now taken steps to increase the number of banks offering FASTag from one to eight. So, we expect the subscription to go up in the coming days,” he said.
He said all the 33 toll plazas in Karnataka have dedicated lanes. “The number of dedicated lanes can go up as the number of FASTag vehicles increase. The technology not only boosts convenience of commuters but also streamlines payment collection at toll plazas,” he said.