For Whom The Toll Pays

aaustria-tag-250 On our travels entering Austria from Italy we had to “pay” and display a Motorway Vignette on the inside of the windshield at the cost of 8.50 euros, then to use the motorway we had to pay 8.50 euros more.

Although the same price appeared to apply to motorcycles as well as cars for the toll cost, the motorway vignette carries a lower cost for motorcycles.

Yesterday (4th November 2014) the TRAN (Transport and Tourism) Committee of MEPs held a hearing yesterday on European Road Toll Systems for Private Vehicles.

The road users’ point of view was represented by Ms Laurianne KRID, Policy Director, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). She has previously represented the motorcyclists’ point of view during proposals for mandatory road worthiness testing which included motorcycles..

austria-tag-250Last week the European Vice President Siim Kallas said (in reference to Germany wanting to charge for using all their roads), “Germany needs nearly €5 billion a year just to stabilise the condition of its road infrastructure.” – “that we strongly support the principle that road users should pay for the roads they drive on.” – “we strongly believe that all European drivers should be treated equally. That’s in the Treaty; it’s not negotiable. Whether you are German, Italian, Austrian or Dutch you should pay the same charge as any other user on the same German, French or Greek motorway.”

The proposed new toll (Maut in German) would apply to all roadways in Germany, not just the country’s famous autobahn network.

no-socks-250German motorists are to be compensated through a vehicle registration tax rebate, the proposed German system may violate EU law. Austria and the Netherlands have already complained about the German proposal being a violation of EU anti-discrimination laws.

Kallas also commented that, “Commission experts and I have met several times over the last months with minister Dobrindt and his team. I appreciate the open dialogue between Germany and the Commission and I am very pleased to see the German side is serious about developing a concept that meets our concerns, in particular as regards non-discrimination.”

However! Never mind charges for the future for road users including motorcyclists, right now it appears that there is a hit and miss system of charging for two wheeled users across European.

Why isn’t there a European wide exception for motorcyclists not to pay road tolls or bridge crossings?

Meanwhile here is a picture of an Italian rider wearing no socks with his “safety” motorcycle shoes 🙂 or is this simply a fashion statement?

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Original Sources

Autobahn Tolls in Austria and Switzerland – Click Here
German Road Charging (maut) – Click Here

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