First green light for e-tolling for cars

Ljubljana – The parliamentary Infrastructure Committee unanimously backed on Tuesday a set of government-sponsored changes to the road tolling act which bring a legal basis to introduce electronic tolling for cars on Slovenian motorways as of 1 December 2021. Still, the MPs had some second thoughts, including about privacy.

Željko Cigler of the opposition Left wanted to know whether e-tolling meant paying per kilometre, which would push many citizens into financial distress.

But Infrastructure Ministry State Secretary Aleš Mihelič said paying would remain as it is now.

He also said that despite the digitalisation of the toll stickers, the price of the toll stickers will not drop, as some other costs would rise.

Currently, the annual toll sticker for a car costs EUR 110, monthly EUR 30 and weekly EUR 15.

Dejan Židan of the Social Democrats (SD) and Robert Pavšič of the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) inquired about safety mechanisms preventing the system of control from being abused to follow vehicles.

Mihelič said the system would erase the data of the driver or vehicle as soon as it had checked them, except if a violator was involved.

“The Information Commissioner has assessed the bill has all the necessary safety mechanisms,” the state secretary said.

Mateja Udovč of the Modern Centre Party (SMC) inquired whether foreign citizens not buying e-stickers would easily avoid paying a fine.

Valentin Hajdinjak, the director general of the national motorway company DARS, explained that they would try to sanction them while they are still in Slovenia.

“Electronic stickers bring the possibility of enhanced control …,” he explained.

Some MPs welcomed electronic stickers as an opportunity for the much desired progress in transport digitalisation.

The vignette tolling system for personal vehicles was introduced in Slovenia in 2008, whereas e-tolling for trucks and buses has been available since 2018.