Foreign vehicles entering Thailand by way of border will be expected to pay an ‘Asean road toll’ fee that the country plans to implement by the end of 2018.
Thailand plans to collect the toll from foreign motorists entering the country via border checkpoints due to increased road travel on the Southeast Asian mainland, which has caused frequent road maintenance and safety concerns.
Thailand’s Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning is currently conducting a study on toll collection, which is expected to be completed by year end. It will then take less than a year to gain state approval.
The toll will be applied to foreign four-wheel vehicles passing through 28 border checkpoints, from Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia and Laos.
Motorists will pay a 100-baht fee for an electronic tag which will be valid for five years, as well as a toll of 42 baht per trip.
Officials plan to have private companies invest in installing the toll collection system, with the entire project estimated to cost around 525 million THB (over 16 million USD) and employ up to 260 officials.
The office’s deputy chief insists that the tolls are necessary since the establishment of the Asean Economic Community has resulted in more vehicles entering Thailand. Thailand authorities have indicated that the country now has to bear higher costs in road maintenance and road accidents.
According to the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning office, there were 2.1 million trips made by car through 28 checkpoints last year. Most came from Laos (755,000), followed by Malaysia (596,000), Myanmar (495,000) and Cambodia (322,000).
Statistics show that the Thai government spends on average 15 billion THB on repairing and maintaining roads annually, with most of the damage resulting from heavy goods transportation. Road accidents also cost the country around 2.4 billion THB every year.
Source: The Nation