Ombudsman proposes clarification of toll regime for vehicles dedicated to the transport of patients

The Ombudsman sent a communication to the government drawing attention to the need to clarify fully with motorway concession companies the toll payment regime applicable to vehicles dedicated to the transport of patients (VDTD).

The most recent communication follows complaints from the Portuguese Fire Brigade League that tolls are being levied on this type of vehicle and after the Ombudsman’s Office had access to an order from the Secretary of State for Infrastructure, dated October 2018, considering that there was no need to amend the legislation in order to guarantee exemption from the payment of tolls by the VDTD.

The government then argued that these vehicles "(…) are already included in the scope of vehicles exempt from payment of toll fees, not only because they are firefighters’ vehicles, but also, and when in emergency, because they are emergency vehicles (…)".

However, when faced with such order, BRISA Concessão Rodoviária, S.A.’s administration maintained the refusal in the recognition of such exemption, arguing, in summary, that such order does not have a binding character, that the exemption clauses contained in the concession contracts do not provide for any exemption for the VDTD, nor could they provide for such vehicles, since such type of vehicles did not exist at the date such contracts were signed.

To read the communication click here [in Portuguese only].

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