Starting January 1, those who wish to drive Austria's highways will need a special sticker or risk paying a fine of 1,100 shillings (ATS), according to officials at the Austrian Ministry of Transportation.
Stickers for cars, motorcycles and trucks all are divided into three groups according to length of their validity. A 10-day sticker costs 70 ATS, a 2-month sticker runs for 150 ATS and year-long pass amounts to 550 ATS.
Prices are more expensive for buses and light trucks (from 3.5 to 7.5 tons), ranging from a 10-day sticker for 330 ATS, 1,500 ATS for a 2 month sticker, and 6,000 ATS for the year.
Trucks heavier than 7.5 tons must pay 600 ATS for 10 days, 3,000 ATS for 2 months, and 12,000 ATS for the year.
For Slovak residents, purchasing stickers will not be easy, especially since they can be purchased only in Austria. Once inside the country, however, they are easily obtainable, available at every gas station, post offices, automobile clubs such as ADAC, TCS, ACI, and some insurance companies such as Allianz Elementar and EA-Generali.
They must be placed on the inside of the vehicle's windshield. The Austrian government is requiring that all cars be outfitted with the stickers to finance highways' reconstruction, to build new highways, and to remove garbage.
The projected annual windfall from the sticker purchases is estimated to be 3 billion ATS, according to Gunter Trieb, an official at the Austrian Ministry of Economy. "This is the first step towards a toll system that is being introduced in EU countries," Trieb said. "Slovenia and France already have this system."
Though the stickers are required for Slovak buses that regularly make trips to Austria, ticket prices will not rise, said the financial vice director for the Slovak Public Transport Authority, Miroslav Pšenčík.
18. Dec 1996 at 0:00 | Andrea Lörinczová