As the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) prepares itself with its punishment for all E-toll defaulters, the agency has put forward a proposal that will likely help them recover monies needed for road construction.
The agency, which seems to be financially handicapped resulting to slow work on the reconstruction of some of the damaged roads, revealed that it is still gearing up for judgement against non-paying e-toll motorists, but in the main time, it has proposed alternatives to the toll system in order to make up for lost billions it needs for road construction.
It said tolling to finance future road constructions was inadequate and would only add to the country’s road infrastructure backlog. Hence the alternative option is to follow international agencies.
Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project manager Alex van Niekerk confirmed this, adding that Sanral expects legal processes against motorists who have not paid e-tolls bills to “start soon”, with total compliance expected to range from 30% to 40%.
Speaking at a Transport seminar on Thursday, van Niekerk said while distance-based tolling would be difficult, it was the most fair alternative in which to collect from motorists.
According to him, the distance-based tolling would entail the use of GPS technology and will see the roads agency charge motorists per kilometre driven. Certain highways may then have a “hard cap” for distance-traveled meaning motorists would hypothetically be charged for the first 20/30 kilometres travelled only.
The manager went on to mention several countries like Australia where this new system is successfully operational. By this also, Sanral will likely use the Roam system for inspiration with the baseline of payment per kilometre placed well ahead of time, but is allowed to fluctuate slightly, with higher tariffs introduced for peak hour traffic and holiday seasons.
With this new invention, motorists will only be charged at the end of the month as it is done with municipal and electricity bills. The metered system will show total distance traveled over the time period and how usage was calculated.
However the system is not perfect, with Roam recently making headlines for prejudicing commuters that don’t live in the more affluent areas of Sydney, closer to the CBD.
Reports also had it that ROAM also prejudices those with limited public transport availability and similar to current municipal statements and traffic fines, can be difficult to fight legally because the motorists does not have direct to the usage reports.
Meanwhile, its been reported that fatalities during Easter period rose by 51% from the 156 recorded in last year’s Easter celebrations.
Transport minister Joe Maswanganyi stated this in his 2017 preliminary Easter road safety, saying human factor is to blame for most of the crashes during this Easter period.
He said the total number of fatalities recorded in the crashes increased by 79 from 156 over the same period in 2016 to 235 this year.