An electronic toll collection system became operational on the Accra-Tema Motorway on Tuesday as the government seeks to plug revenue leakages and boost revenue for the Road Fund.
Under the new computerised system, whose piloting began on the Accra-Tema Motorway, drivers pay the correct toll fees to operators in the booths after which a bar across the lane would automatically be lifted for the vehicle to cross.
The computers capture the number of vehicles that cross vis-à-vis the revenue collected.
The project is expected to be extended to all other toll booths, while more roads and bridges would also have toll booths installed on them.
Speaking to journalists at the Accra end of the motorway, Mr Joe Gidisu, Minister of Roads and Highways, who inspected the installation of the computerised system on Tuesday morning, said he was impressed with the innovation, saying, “so far so good with traffic flow”.
According to him there were no hiccups, stressing that the installation would help government acquire the needed revenue for the Road Fund.
“With the installation, we are going to have a fair knowledge of what actually goes into the Road Fund. We need more revenue to maintain and construct more roads in the country,” added.
Mr Gidisu said “the Ministry had not paid a pesewa for the pilot project”.
Tolls at other booths are at the moment collected by companies that pay specified amounts to the Road Fund.
Mr Gidisu said Cabinet had so far approved new levels of increase of the road tolls which would be certified through a Legislative Instrument.
The Minister declined to give details of the new tolls.
Mr Victor Awumee, a Project Consultant, said as part of the installation, cameras would be fixed at the various toll booths to track drivers who declined to pay their tolls.
Mr Awumee said numbers of cars captured by the cameras would be given out to the Police so they could be arrested.
He said censors would determine the type of vehicle that is crossing the booth and hence determine how much would be paid in terms of revenue.
“In the meantime, there will be people at the toll booths to help.”
Ms Millicent Kontoh, a Project Supervisor at the toll booth at the Accra end of the motorway, said very soon, payments of tolls could be effected through cards and stickers.
At the Tema end of the motorway, technicians were busily working on the censor barrier when reporters reached there at 1046 hours.
However, the computers were already in place.
Mr Robert N. K. Ofosu-Appiah, a Supervisor at that toll booth, called for more public education on the new installation.
Mr Kwasi Mensah, a commercial driver, who commended government for the installation of the computerised system, however, stressed the need for personnel to hasten the process of payment to ensure free traffic flow.
He said drivers should be patient when they were approaching the booth to ensure free flow of vehicles.
The innovation was initiated by Angel Data and Telecom Services.
Drivers, depending on the type of vehicle, pay between five pesewas and 50 pesewas.
Under the new system, it is only vehicles belonging to the Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Red Cross Society and ambulance service, diplomats, Prisons Service and the Ghana Police Service that are exempted from paying tolls. All other vehicles, including those of Ministers of State and cars from the Castle will have to pay.