The introduction of automated electronic toll payments on the N4 Toll Route in 2017 was a great success. This convenient method of paying tolls was embraced by a large percentage of our road users, which led TRAC to roll out Tag-Only lanes at three of its mainline plazas in South Africa – Middelburg, Machado and Nkomazi.
TRAC’s fourth South African mainline plaza – Diamond Hill – now also has an automatic tag lane. However, it is an Express Lane which means that road users can pay their toll without stopping at all. Unlike the Tag-Only lanes where road users still have to stop their vehicles for a few seconds, the Express Lane allows tag holders to keep driving, at a speed of 40km/h, while the tag reader picks up their tag.
The Express Lane is situated on the extreme left of the plaza (in each direction) and works in three phases, namely:
1 – First boom where you enter the Express Lane. The signage reads “Tag Only” if open or there’s a red cross if it’s closed.
2 – Reading Zone – this is the area where the tag is read.
3 – Proceed/Ejection Point.
If the electronic tag has funds and is in working order the road user will see two green arrows and the words “Proceed”. The lane on the left will open and the road user will join the main road after the plaza. If the electronic tag is faulty or the funds are depleted, the road user will see two red arrows and the word “Eject”. The boom on the right will open and the road user will be directed back to the main plaza to pay the toll fees via an alternative payment method.
“The Express Lane really speaks to the ease and convenience of automatic electronic tag payments,” says TRAC CEO Graham Esterhuysen. “It alleviates traffic congestion during peak times and is certainly an easier, faster and safer toll payment method.”
Those who prefer to do things manually still have the option of doing so as all existing payment methods are still accepted at all toll booths on the N4 Toll Route. These are as follows:
Class 1: Cash, credit card, garage/petro card, fleet card, TRAC concession card.
Class 2 – 4: Cash, fleet card, TRAC concession card.
Road users are reminded that debit cards, Diners Club, American Express and all other international cards are NOT accepted methods of payment for any class of vehicle on the N4 Toll Route. Road users should also note that although TRAC’s two Mozambican plazas also accept automated electronic tag payments, the Mozambican and South African systems are NOT linked and neither countries’ tags will work in the other.
For more information on automated electronic tags, visit www.nra.co.za, contact the Sanral Call Centre on 0800 726 725 or the TRAC 24-hour helpdesk via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0800 87 22 64. You can also visit www.tracn4.co.za.