Toll is a compensation motorway users/drivers pay to motorway operator. As motorways are roads with highest level of quality of service, they offer greater safety, comfort and speed. In addition, users can benefit from various roadside facilitiesa (rest areas, filling stations, stores, etc.) and the toll is charged for availability of all these services and amenities.
Toll revenues are used for financing and building motorways, for their maintenance, for operation of all services enabling safe driving, and also for loan repayment and modernization of technical and other systems used in motorway management.
In Croatia, toll is charged in accordance with the distance actually travelled. The toll is charged for four vehicle categories.
The users are classified in price categories in accordance with the Bylaw on Categorisation as passed by the Ministry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, and in compliance with the Decisions on Toll Rates as defined for every motorway operator in Croatia.
The answer given by modern toll motorways is NO. In fact, motorways invest their funds and knowledge in the use of novel technologies and implementation of interoperable electronic toll collection systems, which will facilitate travelling while also greatly increasing traffic flow through toll stations.
When making comparison with situation on the EU motorways, it can easily be observed that the mobility is on the constant rise on Croatian motorways as well. That is why concessionaires are taking steps to increase the rate of traffic flow, principally by encouraging drivers to use the electronic toll collection (ETC) systems and other forms of no-contact toll collection that effectively reduce traffic jams and waiting times at toll stations. Measures are also taken to provide increasingly accurate information to users, so that they can harmonize their travel plans in accordance with road situation.
The answer is simple: the motorway user pays for the use of a particular infrastructure and facilities. The same user also pays taxes for fuel consumed while travelling on the motorway. This can however not be regarded as double taxation as fuel tax is also applied to other public products.
From the very beginning of motorway construction in Croatia, the price of toll has been calculated based on distance travelled by the user, and based on costs incurred for a particular motorway: construction costs, loan repayment costs, equipment costs, maintenance costs, costs of safety and motorway operation services, and toll collection costs.
This toll collection method guarantees financial revenues that are sufficient for covering all costs. To raise the required funding through vignettes, the lowest vignette price should be at least equal to the price currently charged to users for the longest motorway section, i.e. from Macelj to Ravča. Every other road charging method would disturb financial stability, and further construction and operation of motorways would be put into question. The vignette-based systems are appropriate for countries with a small motorway network, in countries that have not as yet introduced direct toll collection, in countries with considerable through traffic, etc.