Published on January 17th, 2022 | by Amirul Mukminin


Malaysian Motorists Rage Over Non-Functional RFID Lanes

Safe to assume that many were late for work today

As you may already know, RFID toll payment system for Class 1 vehicles has commenced operations along the entire North-South Expressway on 15 January 2022. Today, social media is abuzz with angry reactions from road users who were caught in traffic congestions after the system reportedly did not work as intended.

BHPetrol_Euro5 Diesel_2021

According to reports, road users using the Bandar Seri Putra and Sungai Besi toll plazas during the morning rush hour were caught in massive traffic jams due to issues with the RFID system. This had forced many road users to reverse from their lanes, causing further congestion.

Not only that, there were many complaints about SmartTAG lanes being replaced with RFID lanes, which caused confusion. PLUS, the operator of NES, previously stated that Touch ‘n Go and Smart TAG lanes will be phased out in stages to provide more RFID lanes.

It is perfectly understandable why the government is pushing for the implementation of RFID but today’s uproar shows that the system is far from ready. There are still a few weaknesses that need to be addressed, which is why I personally chose to stay with SmartTAG for the time being.

Unlike SmartTAG, which uses an infra-red transponder device and a Touch ‘n Go card, RFID uses a sticker that is embedded with a radio frequency chip that needs to be affixed onto the vehicle’s windscreen or headlamp. This sticker will not work near metal, hence the reason why it needs to be placed at least 5 cm from any metal surfaces.

Come to think of it, there may be several reasons why some road users were having issues with their RFID today. It could be the placement of the sticker, damage to the sticker itself or issues with the overhead scanner which is tasked to scan the radio frequency from the RFID sticker. The number of cars using the RFID lanes today could also play a factor.

And since there are only a handful of RFID lanes per toll plaza, all it takes is one unreadable RFID sticker to cause a massive gridlock, like what we’ve seen today.

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