Motorists in fruitless, but deadly bid to avoid tolls

M50 toll company says ‘tailgating’ motorists are risking their lives and lives of others

New figures show 78 drivers a day are driving within inches of lorries in the mistaken belief they will avoid detection by toll cameras on the M50

New figures show 78 drivers a day are driving within inches of lorries in the mistaken belief they will avoid detection by toll cameras on the M50

Fri, Feb 7, 2014, 16:01

Some drivers are still risking their lives and the lives of others in a fruitless attempt to avoid M50 tolls,the company that manages the facility said today.

According to eFlow which operates the State-owned, barrier-free toll, there are on average 78 instances each day of drivers tailgating lorries, in the mistaken belief that this prevents cameras reading their registration plates.

The act of tailgating involves motorists driving within inches of heavy goods vehicles in an attempt to hide their licence plate number from the toll cameras which are mounted on an overhead gantry.

But in fact eFlow added new cameras some years ago which focus on the rear plate, so both front and rear plates are photographed as a vehicle crosses the toll. The double recording makes attempting tailgating redundant as a potential means to avoid the €3.10 toll. But it still puts the lives of drivers, their passengers and others at considerable risk, according to Simon McBeth, director of communications and customer relations at eFlow.

According to the latest figures from eFlow the number of drivers attempting to dodge the toll has fallen by 67 percent in the five years since the rear-focussed cameras were installed. But a small proportion of users were still not getting the message.

According to Mr McBeth the company manages more than 20,000 customer transactions per day for 600,000 eFlow-registered motorists.

The latest figures were released today as Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar opened new eFlow offices in Blanchardstown.

The figures showed:-

- More then 600,000 Irish motorists are eFlow-registered customers

- an average of 236 new motorists register each day.

- eFlow, together with its customer service partner Abtran, manage over 20,000 customer interactions per day in registrations, toll payments, and updating vehicle ownership details.

- More than 110,000 vehicles use the M50 free-flow system every day

- 51 per cent of vehicles have registered for a tolling account to avail of lower toll charges.