Consensus about using smartphone for road pricing




is growing in Flanders
In the working group of specialists who are commissioned by the Flemish government to consider the introduction of road pricing, there is growing consensus about the choice to use smartphones with GPS. That is the source of the Belgian newspaper De Tijd.

In De Tijd ‘s explanation it is noted on the basis of conversations with experts that systems with toll gates and possibly vignettes do not achieve the objectives and create other problems. For toll roads with vignettes, the rate remains the same for a year and traffic cannot be controlled. Toll gates on routes are possible, but difficult and expensive to enter with the amount of Flemish motorways and entrances and exits. That is why tracking with satellites would be the only really feasible option, and then by following smartphones.

Yet the option to use citizens’ smartphones is not without its disadvantages. For example, not everyone has a smartphone, first of all. Also, people who do have a smartphone are not necessarily skilled enough to set up and use the necessary apps. In addition, the use of GPS functionality in a smartphone costs a lot of battery power and not every smartphone is as accurate in tracking its position. For these problems the solution is possible to build a GPS unit in cars, but that costs extra money. De Tijd is talking about 100 euros, although it may be cheaper.

The working group of specialists is investigating the possibilities for road pricing on behalf of the Minister of Mobility Ben Weyts, of the New Flemish Alliance. The government already decided last year to introduce road pricing in Flanders and the aim is to have the measures finally adopted by the next Flemish government. It is expected that it will become one of the most important parts of the new coalition agreement. The next elections are on May 26 this year.

De Tijd maps out more issues related to road pricing. For example, there are still uncertainties in the area of ​​rates, combating ‘undeclared driving’, privacy, payment systems and the question is what Wallonia will do. The pressure seems to be increasing for governments, since electric driving is only becoming more popular. This means that revenues from excise duties on gasoline and diesel fall back.


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