As of 2022, Croatia will have in place a new motorway toll collection system that will combine an updated version of the dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) system and the automatic license-plate recognition (ALPR) system which uses optical character recognition on images to read vehicle registration plates to create vehicle location data.
The ENC electronic toll system will be obligatory for heavy vehicles, while drivers of other vehicles will be given an option to choose between the two systems.
Presenting the new system, Transport Minister Oleg Bukovic said in Zagreb on Wednesday that the ALPR is a state-of-the-art system which would eliminate queues at the toll booths, especially during the peak tourist season.
The ALPR system will be connected by the appropriate application with payment cards of the users of the system, or drivers will be able to send money directly to the application.
A person who uses the system without providing enough money for electronic payment will be fined.
Offices selling DSRC (ENC) equipment will be set up throughout the country. Lanes for this purpose will be ensured near the border crossings where the automatic license-plate recognition can be carried out.
The minister said that for the time being it could not be assessed whether the new system would be more expensive than the current one for the end-users.
The minister’s adviser Branimir Jerneic, who is in charge of the new system implementation, said that the feasibility study on the matter put a special emphasis on the fact that Croatia is a tourist country, where 85% of tourists arrive by road.
The new system will be interoperable with the electronic toll systems in the European Union.
Jerneic added that the introduction of the new system would cost up to HRK 570 million.
On the other hand, the new system could save some HRK 13 million per month, compared to the current system which is marked by high costs of toll booths, employees and cash transport.
Toll booth cashiers will be retrained.
It was said at the presentation that the current toll collection system is 48 years old and that ENC equipment was added to the system in 2006.
Currently, 40% of motorway users have ENC devices.