Lorry drivers having problems with road toll equipment

Summary

The new tolls for trucks on Belgian roads are effective from tomorrow, but some operators are having trouble with the On-Board Units

Teething problems

With one day left before the introduction of road tolls for goods vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes, six out of 10 lorry operators have experienced problems with the equipment required, according to a survey carried out by the transport industry federation Febetra.

The main problem concerns the On-Board Units (OBUs) – the computers installed in each truck that calculate the number of kilometres travelled on Belgian roads and how much toll is owed. Users complain that OBUs have a tendency to stop working abruptly. There are also complaints that the call centre of Satellic, the company that runs the system, is not accessible. Some users report spending 40 minutes on hold trying to report a problem.

Febetra spokesperson Isabelle De Maegt has called for the problems to be sorted out urgently. “We cannot have a situation where transporters who have done everything possible to follow the rules find themselves being fined after 1 April because the system has broken down,” she said.

According to Satellic, the defective OBUs require a software update, which can be applied automatically, without the need for the unit to be replaced. According to Satellic CEO Rudolf Pospichil, of the 2,000 OBUs that have been reported defective, 90% have already been fixed.

Photo courtesy Satellic