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December 22, 2010

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City to waive road tolls if jams reach 1km

MOTORISTS will not have to pay at city highway and expressway toll stations from next year if queues stretch for at least 1 kilometer.

The new highway regulation, which will be introduced on January 1, is designed to alleviate pressure on the local highway network.

The practice is already permitted in the city, but it's left to individual toll stations to decide whether to implement it.

Under the new rule, drivers can complain to the highway administration if they find they are not being waved through during major tailbacks.

Officials are trying to encourage drivers to use an electronic toll system to avoid queues. Drivers who use electronic tags to pay their tolls will be given a discount when buying the equipment.

More than 72,000 local users have been equipped with the ETC tags and cards so far, officials said. About 60 percent of them use the e-toll system every day.

Meanwhile, the new regulations also rule that city government can reassign the management and maintenance work of highways if operators are found wanting.

A concrete side barrier of a city elevated highway, which was under renovation, collapsed and killed one man in October. An investigation concluded that "improper supporting work" was to blame, exposing poor management in highway maintenance.


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