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E Flow Ltd Barrier Free Tolling

M50None of the 1,000 motorists, in Ireland, summoned to court for failing to pay M50 tolls have contested their case. The vast majority of drivers have decided against engaging in a legal battle with the National Roads Authority over fines for failing to pay a €3 toll for using the motorway.

However this information begs the question: How many false claims have been made against motorists by BetEire Flow Ltd, appointed by the National Roads Authority to manage the barrier tolling system?

Answer: No one knows and worse still, it seems no one cares.

Based on personal experience and the experience of numerous garages in Co.Tipperary you do not have to be on the M50 to receive a Standard Toll Request (STR) in accordance with section 64950 of the Roads Act 1993 to 2007.  It would seem the machinery used by Eflow on this stretch of Toll Road to track offenders, is far from accurate. Well it’s that or the staff used to operate this system need to pay a visit to Specsavers.

Recently, I  received a Standard Toll Request (STR No 1080310700) demanding payment of €6 and threatening an additional charge of €41.50 if I failed to pay. The request for payment claimed my car was spotted Southbound on the M50 at 18:32:07, on the 7th July 2009.  I raise my hands folks, I confess I have never been on this famous M50, ever, in my life time. Me, I prefer instead to travel on minor rural potholed roads, long forgotten by local Co. Councils and powerless public representatives.

Note: My car has never been stolen or loaned and although it has all the latest gadgets, it is not fitted with any special remote control facilities, so it can’t go for a drive on its own. Well that’s according to the manual which came attached. (Remember if at first you don’t succeed always read the manual.)

Incorrect Vehicle or already registered

Eflow is quick  to advise those accused that if they did not make the journey they should contact LoCall 1890-50-10-50 to get the matter sorted. So the costs in phone calls and time, in getting it sorted out, are equal or greater than paying the actual fine of €6.

No I did not bother to call them, but if Eflow were to send me a postal order for €40, (That’s me hourly rate.) I will be happy to send them approximately 26 names and addresses of people who can honestly swear they were in the company of  both me and my car, here in Thurles, at the time and date in question.

According to website www.eflow.ie/news/index.htm errors regarding registration are possibly caused by:

  1. The other vehicle having a broken, dirty or non-standard number plate.
  2. Poor weather conditions
  3. Mounting bolts obscuring letter or number details

These latter situations occurring,  appear to gives Eflow’s staff, some sort of ‘Car-etic Licence’ to guess the registration plate of the offender, resulting in false accusations. It is not surprising therefore that  the company appointed by the National Roads Authority to manage this barrier tolling system, is called, yes you have guessed it “ BetEire Flow Limited“.  (Bet you got it wrong in my case.)

Under the barrier-free tolling system, motorists who choose the pay-as-you-go option must pay a €3 toll by 8pm the day after their journey is made.

If the deadline is missed, a €3 penalty is added and a further €41.50 penalty is added on if this is not paid within 14 days.

If the bill is not settled within 56 days, another €104.50 is levied and failure to pay this results in a summons being issued.

So it would appear if you want to avoid paying this toll, dirty your registration  plates.

Now if Eflow persist with their false accusation, I can plead that my car was being driven by a member of An Garda Siochana, because interestingly enough Government Ministers cars driven by members of an Garda Siochana are exempt from these tolls under section 62 of the Roads Act 1993.

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