Road toll: FASTags mandatory for all new four-wheelers from 1 Dec

All four-wheelers manufactured on or after 1 December 2017 should have FASTag devices fixed on their front windscreens by automobile manufacturers or authorised dealers as per a new government directive.

FASTag is a radio-frequency identification (RFID)-enabled sticker issued by the NHAI and can be bought through banks, authorised dealers and Common Services Centres near toll plazas.

FASTag employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for making toll payments directly from the prepaid or savings account linked to it and when affixed on the windscreen of the vehicle, enabling the commuter to drive through toll plazas without stopping for cash transactions.

The notification issued by the ministry of road transport and highways, says in case of vehicle, which is sold in the form of drive-away-chassis without windscreen, FASTags will have to be fitted on the windscreen by the vehicle owner before the registration of such vehicles.

''All four wheel motor vehicles sold on or after 1st December 2017 shall have FASTags fitted on them by the manufacturer of the vehicle or its authorised dealer, as the case may be. In case of vehicles that are sold as drive away chassis without wind screen, FASTag will have to be fitted by the vehicle owner before it is registered,'' says the Gazette notification issued today.

The ministry said it has made necessary amendments to the relevant sections of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 in this regard.

The notification follows amendment to Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, by the central government as per powers vested in it under Motor Vehicles Act, 1989.

The notification explained that a FASTag means "an onboard unit (transponder) or any such device fitted on the front windscreen on the vehicle".

The tag can be purchased from tag issuers and if it is linked to the prepaid account then the vehicle owner is required to recharge / top up the tag as per requirement.

FASTag is presently operational at about 370 toll plazas across National Highways. The system is inter-operable and the same FASTag can be used across all toll plazas under the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) programme.

The road ministry's decision is in line with the government's push for digitisation and cashless payments, especially after last November's demonetisation of high-value currencies.

The move will also help reduce congestion at toll plazas, and petrol consumption of idling vehicles at toll points, and speed up traffic.