Possible changes to Australian tag system

The introduction of toll tags, in the 1990s, was a welcome change from fleets lining up and waiting to be manually processed. However, based on recent findings, changes could be imminent.

Earlier this month, the National Electronic Tolling Conference (NeTC) took place which welcomed over 100 delegates from around the world. Discussions included global tolling practices and what the next step for Australia might be with our ageing toll tags.

There are currently over seven-million tolling tags operating across all states, with thousands tracking the paths of fleet vehicles every day. Australian Toll Road Users' Group Chair Rex Wright said the industry was facing a massive $100 million bill to replace the old tags.

Susan Harris, Intelligent Transport Systems Australia Chief Executive Officer, said there are many options for the Australian toll industry and she was surprised of the openness of the overseas delegates regarding their systems.

"Conference themes included patronage analysis and behaviour, emerging technologies, enforcement and compliance," she said.

"As a result of the growing number of tolling applications in individual cities, a popular and valuable topic was increasing back office efficiency."

At the two-day conference in Sydney, a number of delegates presented their ideas for Australia - including Q-Free Taiwan Managing Director Villads Sondergaard who spoke about Taiwan's alternative to toll tags. He said video tolling technology is a viable alternative and can achieve 98 per cent recognition of licence plates.

WestConnex tolls

It is expected there will be a number of tolls erected on the new WestConnex expressway set for construction. The conference discussed how the multiple tolls should be introduced and how they will assist traffic flow and congestion.

For fleets regularly moving through toll roads with toll tags, it is recommended to invest in fleet management software which can take care of tollway payments and ensure all fleet costs are paid in a timely manner.