FASTag, govt looks to remove speed breakers
FASTag is a radio frequency identification sticker typically fixed to a vehicle’s windscreen and allows the deduction of toll wirelessly and automatically without requiring a vehicle to stop at plazas.
The government on Tuesday said that it has initiated a special drive for the removal of speed breakers along national highways to ensure smooth traffic movement following the introduction of the mandatory FASTag mechanism for cashless toll payments.
FASTag is a Radio Frequency Identification sticker typically fixed to a vehicle’s windscreen and allows the deduction of toll wirelessly and automatically without requiring a vehicle to stop at plazas. The tags have been introduced to encourage digital payments and to end congestion at toll booths.
“With the effective implementation of FASTag on toll plazas and conversion of cash toll lanes to FASTag lanes, the speed breakers/rumble strips constructed at toll plazas are being removed with immediate effect for smooth vehicular movement,” the Union road transport and highways ministry said in a statement.
It said that speed breakers result in considerable delay, damage to vehicles and significant discomfort to travellers and more fuel consumption due to acceleration and deceleration. “This initiative [removal of speed breakers] will save time, money and facilitate smooth vehicular movement especially of ambulances, elderly and unwell people commuting on National Highways.”
The Centre had mandated all lanes of national highways toll plazas to be declared as FASTag lanes by December 15 to reduce bottlenecks along the national highways. The deadline was earlier extended by 15 days.
The statement said that the introduction of speed breaker-free highways is an another step in the commitment to provide safe, smooth and seamless journeys for commuters on national highways. It added the national highways are designed to cater to high-speed traffic without any hindrance and the drive to remove speed breakers will ensure smooth vehicular movement.
December 17 reported that on the day of the FASTag implementation, the average waiting time of vehicles at plazas increased from 10 minutes and four seconds the same day previous year to 12 minutes. The average waiting time of vehicles on December 14, a day before its implementation, stood at 10 minutes and 57 seconds.
On an average, nearly 6 million vehicles cross toll booths daily, as per the data of the Central Toll Plaza Traffic Monitoring System, which is currently live at 488 places mapping traffic conditions.
According to the monitoring system, there is an approximate yearly loss of over Rs 12,000 crore due to fuel wastage at toll plazas.