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Old February 6th, 2011, 12:17 PM   #1
Suburbanist
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Time for an unified European electronic vignette protocol?

Many countries are introducing electronic tolls, vignettes and alike. If you want to travel all over Europe, you have to pollute your windshield with many stickers, receivers and so on.

So I dare to ask: isn't it time for the European Union come up with an unified protocol for car vignettes/receivers etc.? It wouldn't mean a single device, but a protocol to which EVERY roar authority, from a small mountain city willing to introduce a "pollution charge" to big schemes like German environmental zones or electronic tolls in Italy or access-based road taxes like those in Switzerland and Austria, would be OBLIGED to adhere.

Then, you could have all charges done in your home country/bank account/card/invoice, and free flow would be guaranteed - no more 4 stickers + 2 receivers to move along.

This regulation would also encompass, also, all kinds of environmental controls, meaning an unified protocol of emissions, size etc. codified in the receiver that would put an end to the maze of city-base or country-base access restrictions, with compulsory common signaling based on Euro levels, for instance.

This could also open the road (pun intended) to dismantling all tool booths in Europe, once the fleet is given a reasonable deadline to be fit with receivers.

What do you think about the idea?
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Old February 6th, 2011, 12:55 PM   #2
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This has to be the first time I fully agree with you. Open borders mean nothing if you have n+1 other things to worry about when you travel within EU. A unified system would make things much easier for transportation companies and decrease the hesitation of driving abroad for tourists. Not to mention the significant decrease in labour costs by getting rid of toll booths.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 04:37 PM   #3
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There really should be a unified toll system. Portugal, for example, has 2 systems alone
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Old February 6th, 2011, 05:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Many countries are introducing electronic tolls, vignettes and alike. If you want to travel all over Europe, you have to pollute your windshield with many stickers, receivers and so on.

So I dare to ask: isn't it time for the European Union come up with an unified protocol for car vignettes/receivers etc.? It wouldn't mean a single device, but a protocol to which EVERY roar authority, from a small mountain city willing to introduce a "pollution charge" to big schemes like German environmental zones or electronic tolls in Italy or access-based road taxes like those in Switzerland and Austria, would be OBLIGED to adhere.

Then, you could have all charges done in your home country/bank account/card/invoice, and free flow would be guaranteed - no more 4 stickers + 2 receivers to move along.

This regulation would also encompass, also, all kinds of environmental controls, meaning an unified protocol of emissions, size etc. codified in the receiver that would put an end to the maze of city-base or country-base access restrictions, with compulsory common signaling based on Euro levels, for instance.

This could also open the road (pun intended) to dismantling all tool booths in Europe, once the fleet is given a reasonable deadline to be fit with receivers.

What do you think about the idea?
Well, the idea is not that new. There is even a legislative framework for a kind of first stage - http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road/r...l_rules_en.htm. But it is ambitious and complicated - I think we will see it in 10-15 years' time.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 05:49 PM   #5
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USA needs the same thing with technology the way it is I don't know why there isn't a way for all systems to be able to work with each other.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 06:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bozata90 View Post
I think we will see it in 10-15 years' time.
I'd say in some 5 years.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 07:43 PM   #7
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I do not want a Big Brother box in my car (for as far as the nifty little GPS device isn't one already). Nor are toll booths, I think, the answer. They hold up traffic and are just generally a nuisance.

Also, different countries have different general uses for motorways. Some nations use them for long distance travel only whereas others rely on them for local travel as well. This means implementing a unified toll system on motorways alone will disproportionately burden the citizens of some countries while not particularly affecting those of another.

Introducing a vignette for all citizens in the possession of a motorized vehicle would be legally sketchy. That would basically be a 'license to own a car' which I don't like. I don't think owning a car should be taxed. Driving one, however, should.

So I would propose a simple but effective solution: an EU tax on gasoline.

Alternatively, we could harmonize the vehicle inspection system. If every member state introduces the same annual inspection, we could use said inspection to check the mileage of the car. That would then result in a calculated tax bill from the EU based on how many miles you've driven the past year. Much in the same way that the electricity meter in your house dictates how much money you have to pay the electricity company.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 08:06 PM   #8
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Maybe there could be electronic charges in between cities.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 08:26 PM   #9
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I am not proposing an unified toll system. Just an uniform protocol for electronic tolling, should countries choose to implement that. Then, whether it would be a entrance/exit charge, fixed electronic barrier charges, national fixed-price vignettes... it would be up to each country.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 09:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-275westcoastfl View Post
USA needs the same thing with technology the way it is I don't know why there isn't a way for all systems to be able to work with each other.
I agree with you many more.

Having SunPass interoperable with other toll systems outside Florida (such as EZ-Pass and California's FasTrak) would make things a lot easier. Besides, you would not have to pollute your windshield with so many toll transponders. Moreover, it would allow visitors from out of state to use their toll transponder on Florida's toll roads without having to open a separate SunPass account.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 10:30 PM   #11
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Swiss truck transponder can be used also in Austria.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 10:39 PM   #12
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Good idea... as long Germany stays a toll free* island in Europe!

*for cars
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Old February 7th, 2011, 05:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-275westcoastfl View Post
USA needs the same thing with technology the way it is I don't know why there isn't a way for all systems to be able to work with each other.
Well, we're getting there: we have E-ZPass.
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Old February 7th, 2011, 03:15 PM   #14
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This would be a good idea. However it might encourage more toll routes as it takes one major cost out of it. Another would be to use ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) if there was the legal ability to chase people for payment in different countries. This currently doesn't work that well in London where it is used for the congestion charge.

One solution to vignettes is to pay to register your number plate, then the police will be able to check if they want to, this will rely on the same amount of honesty a vignette does.

Taxing people for the mileage is a bad idea if you are just using the car's own speedometer, these are regularly clocked and can easily be disconnected on most cars, also there will be plenty of confusion with British or older Irish cars using MPH.

Another point is that I currently have several old vignettes on my windscreen that remind me of the various trips I have taken in my car.
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Old February 7th, 2011, 03:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadeye Reloaded View Post
Good idea... as long Germany stays a toll free* island in Europe!

*for cars
Sure, why not? If German tax payers want to pay for maintenance and give car drivers from other countries a free ride, why not?

Regarding Suburbanists proposal, I think it makes sense.
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Old February 7th, 2011, 04:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-275westcoastfl View Post
USA needs the same thing with technology the way it is I don't know why there isn't a way for all systems to be able to work with each other.
We are at least in this region , E-Tolling , aside form EZ Pass.....
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Old February 7th, 2011, 04:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
Sure, why not? If German tax payers want to pay for maintenance and give car drivers from other countries a free ride, why not?
That's what a State should have to do. In Italy medical care is free for Italians and foreigners.
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Old February 7th, 2011, 10:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
Sure, why not? If German tax payers want to pay for maintenance and give car drivers from other countries a free ride, why not?
Most foreign drivers will pay fuel taxes in Germany also.

I agree, though, that those "access fees" charged by Switzerland, Austria, Hungary are unfair. Registration fees should be valid Europe-wide. If you car is legal in your country, it should be legal elsewhere in Europe. Only taxes/tolls imposed on local drivers should be chargeable to foreign drivers.
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Old February 7th, 2011, 10:13 PM   #19
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We have e-vignette, meaning you only get a receipt, and that is what you should keep.

Unfair? What are you talking about?
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Old February 7th, 2011, 10:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
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...those "access fees" charged by Switzerland, Austria, Hungary...
What fees?
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