Electronic toll collection systems (ETCs) will be installed on a trial basis in at least one lane of the three tolls across the National Highway No1 and part of Ho Chi Minh Highway.

This was announced by the Deputy Minister of Transport, Nguyen Hong Truong on March 10.

The three tolls, which are located in the central Quang Binh and Nghe An provinces and on the Ho Chi Minh Highway, will use new technology for which drivers will no longer have to stop their vehicles and pay fees as in the current practice.

Drivers will also be issued an electronic tag (E-tag), which will be attached to the inside portion of the front windscreen of a vehicle, and denote an account. The tag will transmit a signal to the computer at the toll gantry as it approaches, and the toll will charge the account automatically, he said.

During the period of trial, the model for manual toll collection, which requires a toll collector to sell tickets and make an entry of the vehicles in the system, will also be maintained, Truong added.

The ETC technology will be applied at more than 35 tolls across the National Highway No1 and the Ho Chi Minh Highway if the pilot project is successful. The ministry also plans to replace manual tolls with the new system.

The ministry had assigned the TASCO Joint Stock Company and the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam to implement the project, Truong added.

He further stated that the ETC will use the US Radio Frequency Identification system, which is the latest technology in the world. It is simple, involves low investment costs and has a quick identification speed. It can also save a lot of time for drivers, curb congestion when vehicles stop to pay the fees manually, and strengthen the State's management and help avoid losses.

A representative from TASCO JSC said the cost of building an ETC toll was much lower than the current toll as management agencies would no longer have to pay for ticket printing and toll collectors.
According to his estimation, the new system could save up to 3.4 trillion VND (159 million USD) each year, compared with the current one.

Responding to a question on fees charged under the new system, Truong confirmed that the fees will remain the same.-VNA