Whether it is a long drive or a short weekend getaway, the idea of road travel has always been an exciting one. Moreover, considerable improvements in roadway infrastructure have added a new dash of enjoyment to it.
However, waiting in a long line or having just the exact amount of change at a toll booth has always been a hassle.
But there is good news; this hassle is soon to be eliminated by a new initiative called FASTag.
A FASTag is, in some ways, the equivalent of a VIP pass to a concert. It is essentially a sticker with an embedded chip and like an antenna. Fixed on a vehicle’s windscreen, it saves you from waiting in line at a toll plaza to pay for passage.
As you pass through, the toll charges are automatically collected without the need to stop at the toll booth. This is a huge step towards making road travel more efficient with the help of technology.
At one end, your vehicle class and tag status are recognised through FASTag using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. On the other end, the FASTag is connected to your bank account or mobile wallet to make automatic payments.
Similar to four wheeler insurance, the government has made the use of FASTag for paying toll on national highways mandatory on all vehicles.
Even cars that are exempt from toll charges will have to be equipped with a FASTag. The difference here is that they can include an internal mechanism for NIL charges.
FASTag for cars promotes digital payments. In addition to reducing the manpower required on a toll booth, it helps you avoid a traffic build-up, saving time. According to certain reports, data collected through devices at electronic toll collection can be used to ensure better traffic monitoring.
Now that you know the ‘how’, a natural question that you may have is ‘why?’ The simple answer to that question is the long list of benefits that FASTag offers to all parties associated. These benefits include:
A FASTag is not just advantageous for vehicle owners but also has a host of benefits for the country and the environment. These benefits include:
If you own one or more four-wheelers, obtaining a FASTag is almost as important for you as buying the best car insurance in India.
This is because, with immediate effect from December 1, 2019, all lanes at national highway toll plazas except for one in each direction have been designated as FASTag lanes. If you wish to travel through these lanes without a FASTag, you may have to pay double toll charges.
FASTag does not have to be renewed or refilled as it is connected to your bank account or mobile wallet and collects toll payments directly. As long as your linked account or mobile wallet has adequate funds, you can simply drive through the toll plaza uninterrupted. You don’t have to worry about FASTag recharge or expiry at all!
Here is the detailed process of how FASTags for vehicles work:
Currently, a total of 23 certified banks including small finance banks, payment banks, and co-operative banks can issue FASTags for cars. To check whether your bank is included in the list or not, you can check the NPCI website. Additionally, FASTags are also available at select toll plazas, petrol pumps, RTOs, and online. Another alternative of buying a FASTag is the MyFASTag app.
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