PA Turnpike Commission dangles ease of E-Z Pass to entice motorists

    The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is trying to use financial incentives to persuade drivers to get E-Z Pass. Motorists who enroll will pay a 3% toll hike compared with a 10% increase for those who pay cash.

    The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is trying to use financial incentives to persuade drivers to get E-Z Pass. Motorists who enroll will pay a 3% toll hike compared with a 10% increase for those who pay cash.

    Drivers with E-Z Pass already get to avoid waiting in line to pay cash at toll plazas. Now the financial savings could be enough to push some drivers to make the switch.

    Turnpike Commission spokesman Carl DeFebo:
    It’s much more convenient, it’s quicker, it’s more efficient. It saves idling at the toll plaza which is better for the environment.

    But there could be unexpected fallout from getting more people to use the system. Some people have expressed privacy concerns about the government could use E-Z Pass to track them.

    DeFebo is quick to dismiss another concern some drivers have voiced: that E-Z Pass could be used to issue speeding tickets.

    DeFebo:
    Nobody in Pennsylvania’s gonna try to give you a speeding ticket with your E-Z Pass. That’s prohibited by law. We would need legislation to do that.

    But E-Z Pass could be used to figure out whether the husband in a divorce case really was at a business meeting in Pennsylvania.

    Norristown lawyer Lynne Gold-Bikin:
    The question was where was this guy at the time. And low and behold we had the E-Z Pass showing his car going across the Turnpike into Jersey where the girlfriend was.

    Almost two-thirds of Pennsylvania Turnpike users pay electronically. The New Jersey Turnpike has been using price incentives for years, and nearly three-quarters of drivers there use E-Z-Pass.

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