Satellite Toll System Operation
The Electronic Toll System is a complicated information and communication technological complex consisting of several information subsystems and many specific applications providing all the operation processes of the toll collection and toll collection control.
Before entering onto the Specified Road Sections the vehicle liable to pay the toll must be registered in the Electronic Toll System and at the same time it must have the properly installed OBU which is obligatory on the whole network of Specified Road Sections.
The OBU comprises current geographic data about the Specified Road Sections subject to the toll payment liability (the so-called GEO model). After installation in the vehicle and proper setting the OBU starts to work immediately. During the journey the OBU records the vehicle position on the Specified Road Sections by means of the global satellite system of position recording (GPS) and compares it with the data saved in the GEO model. If the OBU´s algorithm based on the data comparison finds that the vehicle uses a specified section subject to the toll payment liability, a corresponding toll record about the act (the so-called toll event) is made in compliance with the applicable legislation.
The toll events created by means of the GSM/GPRS technology are sent from the OBU to the CIS, where based on the distance travelled by the vehicle on the Specified Road Sections with the toll payment liability and the appropriate toll rate for the specific vehicle category and the type of Specified Road Section toll transactions are generated and the toll price is calculated. The CIS is created by many applications providing a complete functionality of the toll collection process. In addition to the assessment of the toll events and making the final bills for toll transactions it also includes the generation of invoices, reminders, customer and supplier relations management, logistics, operation of the customer zone on the web portal, etc.
During a journey the OBU warns the driver by means of light and sound signalling which can be switched off also about various positions and situations such as e.g. functioning or non-functioning of the OBU, lack of energy (battery discharged), use of Specified Road Section or close reaching of the minimum amount of the pre-paid toll balance (in the pre-paid toll regime) or achieving insufficient toll payment guarantee, i.e. the amount of the bank guarantee (in the post-paid toll regime). In the case of complete use of the pre-paid toll and in the case of technical problems with the OBU the driver is liable to interrupt the journey as soon as practicable on the nearest appropriate point, to contact the operators of the customer service line of the Electronic Toll System and then to visit the nearest customer service point.
Toll Collection Control
The toll collection control is ensured by the System Operator (SkyToll) in cooperation with the Toll Police. The in-built microwave (DSRC) technology of the OBU enables communicating with the special sub-system within the Electronic Toll System determined for the toll collection control. Its duty is the control of the toll payment liability fulfilment and of other liabilities in line with the Act on toll collection including the documentation of toll incidents and the solution of toll offences. The system of toll collection control uses several types of top detection technological devices.
The fixed and portable roadside control gates by means of the installed technology can verify the technical data of the vehicle and compare it with the vehicle registration data in the CIS and proper OBU setting. Any suspicious findings (so-called toll incidents) detected by control gates are sent automatically to the central supervision office where they are processed, classified and verified again. The confirmed incidents are classified as toll offences and then treated in compliance with the applicable legislation.
The Toll Police vehicles are equipped with similar control technical devices as the control gates. They are determined for non-stop 24-hour mobile control of vehicles liable to pay the toll at various points of Specified Road Sections. In addition to this control, the Toll Police also pursues specific vehicles based on the documents from the central supervision office. The Toll Police is entitled to sanction the vehicles in respect to which the toll liability violation is found by high financial punishment – a fine either directly at the point within a fine administration proceedings or administrative proceedings at the appropriate Traffic Office. In addition to a financial fine if finding serious violation of liabilities it may prevent the driver from continuing the journey.
Part of the Toll Police´s work includes also the preventive controls by means of the state-of-the-art technology it can check not only any vehicle driving in the Specified Road Section during its journey but also the vehicles parked in the parking places and filling stations.
If complying with all the rules and regulations no Vehicle Driver or Vehicle Operator driving or operating a vehicle liable to pay the toll has to worry about the problems or sanctions and may use all the highways and expressways and specified roads of lower categories in the Slovak Republic without any restrictions and troubles.