About 1,500 vehicles with deactivated electronic toll-collection cards collided Friday with barriers at ETC booths on expressways nationwide because the drivers were unaware that one type of ETC card has become invalid, according to Japan Highway Public Corp.

The barrier poles in ETC lanes are designed to automatically lift when a vehicle with a valid ETC card approaches.

Information that a discount ETC card for large-lot users was abolished as of Friday apparently was not sent to all drivers, the expressway operator said.

Of about 2 million ETC cards subject to the abolition, 500,000 have been replaced with valid cards. The rest expired March 31.

Most of the roughly 1,500 vehicles that collided with bars were trucks.

Japan Highway said it is investigating whether it has properly notified drivers of the planned abolition of the card.

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