Mon, Jul 24, 2006 - Page 3 News List

ETC errors too high: PFP

CNA , TAIPEI

The infrared-activated electronic toll collection (ETC) system being tried out on freeways has a high failure rate and should not be allowed to go into commercial operation, a People First Party (PFP) lawmaker said yesterday.

Legislator Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) told a press conference that according to a contract between the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection Co (FETC), the failure rate of the ETC system should not exceed 0.02 percent if the firm is to begin commercial operations after a six-month trial that will end Aug. 10.

Liu said statistics compiled by FETC and the Taiwan Area National Freeway Engineering Bureau show that between May 20 and June 20, the ETC recorded an average failure rate of 1.51 percent, exceeding the limit by about 75 times.

He said that the failure rate during the trial period at the Yuehmei toll collection station in Taichung County reached 26.3 percent -- 1,300 times the limit, and that on June 1, the station recorded a failure rate of 43.2 percent.

Liu said the infrared detectors do not work well on rainy days, as records show that during the 18 days from May 26 to June 12, when the forecasters warned of continuous heavy rain, the failure rate was exceptionally high.

Liu urged Minister of Transportation and Communications Kuo Yao-chi (郭瑤琪) to stick to the terms of the contract and revoke FETC's right to manage the ETC system without giving the company any compensation.

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