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You get to a toll barrier and can't pay. What happens next?

Do you have to turn around?

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

ANYONE WHO HAS taken a drive on a tolled road anywhere in Ireland has experienced that momentary panic that comes with not knowing if you have enough change.

You might instruct your passengers to scrape through the ashtray, the pockets in the doors, the backs of seats or any other crevice in your car.

But, what is the worst case scenario?

You arrive at the toll booth and explain to the cashier that you can’t pay. How do they react?

Send you on your way with a reminder not to do it again? Tell you to turn around?

Not really, says Sean O’Neill of the National Roads Authority.

All of the operators, who work as individual shop owners, have their own system, but they’re all essentially a formal IOU.

“They will have areas that you can pull in, they take a picture of your car and your details and then send you out the bill.”

Luckily, O’Neill says, the problem doesn’t arise too often.

“Certainly when the roads first opened, people may not have realised that the barriers were there, but it’s not a common problem these days.”

Read: 30 cars broke a red light on this junction in half an hour

Read: New drink driving laws come into effect from today

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