SANRAL plans to employ the e-tolling system by the end of the month and, to date, we all hate the idea. In a cash-strapped society this is seen as a last straw to break the camel’s back, with the public willing to fight the implementation of the system to the bitter end. The problem is that billions of rands of the taxpayer’s money has already been spent. Is there not a better alternative for which this expensive white elephant can be employed for? As I see it, the answer is Yes, e-policing!
At the heart of this e-tolling system is an advanced numberplate recognition function. It has been tested in rush hour traffic to not miss a single number plate across all the lanes of the highway. Now, imagine hooking this system up to the police database of stolen and hi-jacked vehicles? Police will instantly know when a stolen vehicle crosses below one of SANRAL’s e-toll structures. It would actually be beneficial to have a police presence after each tolling station to immediately apprehend the culprits.
The traffic department will have a field day if they link their database of outstanding fines, road tax and unroadworthy vehicles to the number plate recognition system. Maybe they can even set-up camp next to the police station on the N1 after each tolling structure.
I have a hunch that the N1 might not have any more traffic problems should the above be employed, with all the law-breakers looking for alternative routes! Okay, so you can always remove your number plate but I’m sure the system can be set up to identify a vehicle with no recognisable number plate and send a picture to the waiting police one kilometre down the road…
Have you got any alternative uses for the despised system that might replace the dreaded toll paying?