Electronic toll collection system

Basic principles of the satellite toll system operation

The basic rights and obligations of road users are set out in Act No. 13/1997 Coll. on Roads as amended (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”), whereby the Act, among other things, stipulates, in relation to the toll, in particular the basic conditions for determining the amount of the toll payment for the use of a designated road, the rights and obligations of the electronic toll system operator, the entitlements, the obligations and the conditions for the provision of the European Electronic Toll Service, the obligations of the vehicle operator and the driver in the electronic toll system and the toll payment enforcement.

The use of a road, as determined by implementing legislation and designated with a road sign indicating toll payment and determined by the type of a motor vehicle, is subject to toll payment (hereinafter referred to as "toll road").

Charging is based on the type of vehicle and the distance driven on the toll road (hereinafter referred to as “Toll”), where the use of a toll road by a motor vehicle with at least four wheels with the maximum permissible weight exceeding 3.5 tons (hereinafter referred as a "Vehicle in the Electronic Toll System” or just a "Vehicle") shall be subject to toll payment.

The amount of the toll is determined by means of the electronic toll system, which enables, in particular, to determine the distance travelled by vehicles on toll roads, toll data recording, toll collection and toll payment enforcement (hereinafter referred to as the "Electronic Toll System" or "SEM").
The electronic toll system includes an approved electronic device, which a vehicle in the electronic toll system must be equipped with (hereinafter referred to as "Electronic Device"). This electronic device is commonly called an On-Board Unit.
The electronic device is non-transferable and its use is tied to a particular vehicle registered in the electronic toll system. The amount of the toll is determined by multiplying the toll rate and the distance driven on a toll road. The toll rate can be differentiated according to vehicle emission class, vehicle type, number of vehicle or vehicle combination axles, time of day, day or time of year.

The operation of the electronic toll system and the toll collection is provided by the Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic (hereinafter referred to as the “Ministry of Transport”). The Ministry of Transport may entrust the operation of the electronic toll system and the toll collection to an organisation established by the Ministry of Transport or a legal entity for which the Ministry of Transport is acting as the founder on behalf of the state on the basis of the Czech Government's approval.

With respect to the assignment of all rights and obligations related to the delivery and provision of comprehensive services of SEM operation in the Czech Republic - from the Ministry of Transport to the Road and Motorway Directorate of the Czech Republic (hereinafter referred to as "RMD") - the entity performing the function of the electronic toll system operator pursuant to the Act (hereinafter referred to as the “Electronic Toll System Operator” or only the “Operator”) is RMD.


Satellite toll collection technologies operate on the principle of satellite navigation, thus recording the position of vehicles through an electronic device (on-board unit) in the vehicle via satellites. This toll collection technology provides for the maximum flexibility of the system to manage the future growth of the freight transport volume and expansion of the road network. The electronic toll system uses hybrid electronic devices integrating the following technologies: 

  • the satellite technology for determining a position (provides for data collection concerning the use of toll sections of roads and motorways);
  • GSM/GPRS technology for communication within mobile networks - it serves to transfer data between electronic device and other information subsystems within the electronic toll system, the microwave DSRC technology for short distance communication - checking of paying entities in the process of toll collection enforcement;

The satellite toll system is fully prepared for interoperability not only with the countries immediately adjacent to the Czech Republic, but also meets all the requirements of the European Electronic Toll Service based on the principle of “one contract - one electronic device - multiple toll systems”. Thanks to the applied technology, it can also quickly and flexibly implement future changes and rules of the European Union in the area of pan-European traffic policy.

System functioning

The electronic toll system is a complex information, communication and technological system consisting of several information subsystems and a number of specific applications that ensure all operating processes related to toll collection and enforcement. 

The vehicles subject to toll collection must be registered in the electronic toll system prior to entering toll sections and, at the same time, must be equipped with a properly installed electronic device. The electronic device will be leased to hauliers in exchange for a deposit. 

The electronic device contains current geographic information on road and motorway sections subject to toll payment and enables their detection (so-called GEO model). While driving, it monitors vehicle positioning data using the Global Navigation Satellite System and compares it to the data stored in the GEO model. As soon as the electronic device algorithm detects a vehicle driving on a toll section, it will create a record of this fact in accordance with applicable legislation, the so-called toll event. 

Toll events are sent to the central information system using GSM/GPRS technology, where the amount of the toll is calculated based on the length and the type of section used and the appropriate toll rate for the motor vehicle category.  

Toll collection enforcement

Toll collection enforcement is provided by the system operator in cooperation with the customs. The microwave (DSRC) electronic device technology enables communication with a special subsystem providing for toll collection enforcement. It also provides for the enforcement of toll payment obligation and other obligations under the Road Act, the documentation of toll incidents and the resolution of toll offences. 

Control gantries or patrol vehicles will create a record of a vehicle passing, containing the electronic device data, photos, the laser system detected vehicle category and the number of axles. Subsequently, the record is checked in the application intended for this purpose and the data obtained from the control gantry are checked against the data recorded in the central system. Detected inconsistencies (the so-called toll incidents) are automatically sent to the central register, where they are sorted and re-verified. Confirmed incidents shall be classified into toll offences and further dealt with pursuant to relevant legislation.