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Higher tolls for the most polluting cars, a possible solution to paying for road use

In the year 2021, the Government committed to the European Union to implement a payment system for the use of Spanish expressways as a condition for accessing community funds. Although the Executive is still studying the formula to implement, it is taken for granted that the regulations will take vehicle emissions into account, following the logic of “who pollutes the most, pays the most.”

One of the possible solutions to establish a toll system that takes into account emissions in real time has just been tested in Guipúzcoa. The test, which took place next to the Orio tollbooth on the AP-8, was carried out under the supervision of the laboratory Gipuzkoa Living Labspecialized in smart mobility.

As reported The vanguardduring the experiment the emissions of each car were measured from a distance (that is, without having to stop) using a device from the company Opus CSR. The device, placed next to the road, made the measurements through a system associated with reading license plates.

Among other things, it can analyze the levels of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ammonia and suspended particles. It is hoped that the system will also make it possible to identify large emitterswhich despite accounting for 1-3% of the car park, account for up to 40% of polluting emissions.

Higher tolls for the most polluting cars

A system based on DGT environmental labels would be unfair and unrealistic

On paper, this system would be fairer than one based on DGT environmental badges, since there are models with stickers C., ECHO either ZERO which in real conditions pollute more than other older vehicles. The best example is found in some plug-in hybrids marketed by luxury brands, which once their small batteries run out, emit much more than other smaller and lighter cars.

This solution also has its detractors, as some voices warn that would mainly penalize low-income peoplesince they are the ones with the oldest and potentially polluting cars.

In addition, by charging for the use of expressways, part of the traffic would be diverted to secondary roads, which have a higher accident rate. Since older cars offer lower levels of safety than modern ones, this could end up leading to higher fatalities on the roads.

Source | The vanguard

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