Citizens show reluctance towards non-stop electronic toll collection

The Transport Ministry is implementing the direction of Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh about electronic toll collection (ETC) on all expressways from August 1. However, it seems a large number of drivers are still reluctant to install such an ETC card on their vehicles.

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On July 22, the ETC system with 13 new lanes was launched on Cau Gie – Ninh Binh expressway, increasing the total ETC stations to 28 at the three plazas of Vuc Vong, Liem Tuyen, and Cao Bo. (Photo: VNA)

Point c of Clause 3 in Article 5 of Decree No.100/2019/ND-CP, which details amendments for Decree No.123/2021/ND-CP, clearly states that vehicles without an ETC card entering the ETC land will be fined up to VND2 million (US$85.5), plus a temporary suspension of driver’s license from 2-4 months. In reality, however, many drivers still show their reluctance or misunderstanding of this regulation.

Nguyen Van Rot, a chauffeur of a private company director in Ho Chi Minh City, honestly said that since his boss only travels in the city, there is no need to install an ETC card on the vehicle. After listening to explanation on the above regulation, he changed his mind and wanted to inform his employer to immediately attach an ETC card in case the vehicle enters any expressways some time in the future.

Rot’s friend, driver Tri happily shared that after installing a card on the vehicle he is driving, he received detailed instruction on using a corresponding app on his smart phone to deposit money into his ETC account and to scan a card at an ETC station.

Long-distance drivers wholeheartedly welcome this ETC system, saying that with such a convenient system, they will not be afraid passing toll collection stations during rush hours. Compared to ETC lanes, the mixed lane for vehicles with and without an ETC card is always crowded, which has again showed off the convenience of the system to encourage more drivers to attach one on their vehicles.

There are still certain problems, however. Tran Ngoc Khue from District 3 of HCMC recalled that when he was taking his family on a trip to Da Lat City, he passed Lien Khuong ETC station and encountered trouble. The scanner did not recognize his card because his ETC account has both VETC and ePass cards, which confused the recognition system. Because both cards still have a positive balance, he cannot decide which card to be eliminated.

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Cao Bo ETC Plaza is in operation. (Photo: SGGP)

VETC Automatic Toll Collection Co. Ltd. informed that each vehicle can only attach either a VETC or ePass card for the recognition system to work well. Drivers might get their accounts deducted if they have both cards and try to pass an ETC station. In such a case, they need to contact the hotline of their card providers for further instruction on refund.

If the barrier on an ETC land does not lift up, drivers should calmly move their vehicle to the emergency land and request a recheck since there might be a mistake during the money deposit or paying process.

If there is a mistake like writing a wrong license plate number, account number, drivers need to either dial the hotline 19006010 and read the transaction number or send an image of the transaction to VETC Smart Traffic fanpage. They will receive a refund after VETC verify this transaction.

If drivers forget the password of their account and cannot sign in, they can use the app VETC Customer to recover their password in 4 simple steps. They can also call 19006016 to get help. If the ETC card is too old, worn out, or torn, drivers can visit VETC service sites for reinstallation at a cost of VND120,000 ($5.1)

From August 1, expressways will not have any lanes for manual toll collection. There will only be a special lane to handle emergencies like ETC account with no money, priority case. Any vehicles not installing an ETC card will be aided to do so at the leading way to toll plazas so that they do not have to turn back to exit the expressway.

Drivers purposedly refusing to attach an ETC card on their vehicles will be asked to turn back to exit the current expressway.

Drivers also need to check the balance of their ETC account before entering any expressways to ensure there is sufficient money for toll payment. If the balance is negative, they will be aided to immediately deposit money at toll plazas via bank transfers or cash.