What burden will e-Tag have on millions of highway users? 14.3.2007.
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw presses the Govenrment to announce the effects of the proposed gantry toll system or e-Tag on millions of highway users in Malaysia.
According to media report, a gantry toll system will replace the existing toll collection system. But, motorists are still in the dark.
Dr Tan has read about gantry toll system or e-tag replacing the present system in the middle of next year. We are prepared to accept good changes. Nevertheless, we have to consider what burden will the new system have on motorists.
On 11 March, 2007, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu revealed that the gantry system would reduce congestion of traffic at toll plazas.
It seems that the Malaysia Highway Board will finish its study of the new system or e-Tag in July, 2007. It may need new methods of implementation and new laws.
The North South Highway was privatised in 1988. It was, then, rescued and renationalized by the Government. The public have been amazed. Ever since, many more highways have been privatized, including 18 tolled roads in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.
In the beginning, each concessionaire had its own system of toll collection, such as Express Tag. The Government abolished individual systems and introduced Touch 'n Go and SmarTag uniformly. Two years later, the Works Minister talks of e-Tag or gantry toll system to get rid of cash counters, Touch 'n Go and SmarTag.
Samy emphasizes that the proposed gantry system can monitor speed of vehicles and its scanning machine and camera can estimate the load carried by lorries.
We appeal to the Government to announce the companies dealing with various tags, like Express Tag, Touch 'n Go, SmarTag and e-Tag. SmarTag is an acronym of Bahasa Malaysia: Sistem Membayar Automatik Rangkaian Tol ( Automatic Toll Network Payment System). SmarTag has 9V alkaline battery. The system can detect a vehicle within 40 milliseconds. Who sells this battery? Does e-Tag use a similar battery? Will e-Tag become electronic frequent change Tag (efc-Tag) or elektronik sering menukar Tag (esm-Tag)?
Will the gantry or big arch system mean big spending by highway users? How much have motorists to pay for the various tags and touch 'n Go? How much will they have to pay for the e-Tag in the gantry system?
Motorists are flabbergasted with the change of toll tags every two to three years. Once e-Tag is introduced, will there be another new system in two years? A new computer lasts for about two years. Will e-Tag be changeable every two years just like a computer?
Dr Tan Seng Giaw