As of 15 July 2015, the Hungarian distance-based electronic toll system HU-GO offers a new service. With effective help from the respective trade associations, a fine alert function is now available to meet the needs of freight forwarders. Unique even in international comparison, this new function is designed to protect bona fide freight forwarders. The email alert warns customers about wrong user settings detected by the control system to allow freight forwarders to avoid fines by making corrections to those settings or topping up their account balance.
After internal testing, this new IT development required effective cooperation from freight forwarding trade associations, freight companies, toll declaration operators and the Hungarian Public Road Non-profit Ltd. Due to this high level of partner participation, the second testing phase was successfully completed in May 2015 and, after extensive consultations conducted with the legislator Ministry of National Development and the Police as the authority sanctioning unauthorized road use in the e-toll system, on 15 July the new function was made available to companies registered in the HU-GO system.
The fine alert function sends a warning to the email addresses of users registered in the HU-GO system if the control system detects or assumes illegal road use. It is important to note that due to requirements for legal compliance, the alert system does not change the method of imposing fines and all data related to unauthorized road use are still transmitted to the Authority in a closed control system.
The fine alert function is available to all users registered in the HU-GO system regardless whether they fulfil their toll payment obligation by purchasing route tickets or using an on-board unit. By default, the fine alert function is inactive. To use this function, the registered user must first activate it.
Now it is a good time to recap some key information users need to keep in mind to avoid e-toll fines. Those with route tickets must purchase the ticket prior to road use, i.e. in advance. Route tickets are valid only after payment. Route tickets purchased for one direction provide road use authorization only for one trip on the planned route, in the relevant direction. Users performing their toll declarations via on-board units (OBU) must check the data registered in the HU-GO system (license plate number, country code, number of axles, emission category) and must make sure that the on-board unit is switched on and works properly and that the balance of the user’s e-toll account is sufficient for the toll to be paid.
We trust that the fine alert service facilitates compliance with e-toll payment and helps maintain the competitiveness of compliant freight forwarding companies.