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Problems persist with Abu Dhabi road tolls

Drivers in the United Arab Emirates are still having trouble signing up to the road tolls system in Abu Dhabi via the internet, with four active toll gates being activated today for the very first time.

The tolls are situated at four bridges that link Abu Dhabi Island to the mainland, and were initially scheduled to be switched on three months ago back in October 2019.

However, the plans were postponed by transport authorities, which instead declared that a free trial period would be implemented until 1st January 2020.

The move relieved a number of motorists who were struggling to make use of the registration process, but for many the problems still persist.

Some have still been unable to sign up, and while others have managed to do so successfully, still more cannot alter their accounts and are stuck with the profile of old cars that they no longer own.

Some owners fear that they will receive a bill for a car they have sold on when it is driven through the gates by the new owner.

Motorists in Abu Dhabi can register their details for free on the system, but those from elsewhere in the UAE must pay a fee of Dh100 to do so, though Dh50 will then be returned to their account.

However, some owners have even found the system rejecting their attempts to pay the Dh100 fee, and complaints have not yet been dealt with by authorities.

The toll gates are situated on Saadiyat, Mussaffah, Sheikh Khalifa and Maqta bridges.

They work in a manner similar to Dubai’s longstanding Salik system, where motorists are issued with charges every time they pass through an active gate.

Drivers were originally going to face charges of as much as Dh4 during peak times and Dh2 outside of peak hours, in addition to public holidays and Fridays, but those plans have now changed.

In December, transport authorities announced that charges will be levelled on drivers only at rush hour, with a charge of Dh4 every time a vehicle goes through the gates between the hours of 7am and 9pm, and then from 5pm to 7pm.

Public holidays and Fridays are also going to be exempt from charges under the new rules.

The Department of Transport has yet to comment on the problems that some users are still continuing to experience with the online system.

Anyone who drives a motor vehicle in Abu Dhabi or any other emirate in the UAE is legally obliged to take out at least a basic form of third-party car insurance.

This is to ensure that drivers are not left financially devastated or even unable to pay for the repairs of their own vehicle or those of other drivers in the event of an accident they have caused.

A number of car insurance policies in the UAE also help to protect drivers from the expense of medical bills in the event that they suffer injuries in accidents.