The zero-tolerance policy that motorists must
endure for making toll mistakes on
Turnpike probably doesn’t apply to the turnpike authority itself – but maybe it
According to the Orlando Sentinel, an unknown number of turnpike drivers have
incorrectly received tickets and fines since the turnpike went to a zero-tolerance
policy for drivers who pass through automated tollbooths without paying.
About 5,000 tickets were issued in July in
That was a sizeable increase from April’s total – one month before the
zero-tolerance policy took effect – of 600 tickets, the Sentinel reported.
Previously, drivers were given two warning
letters and up to three violations in a month before a citation was issued.
Now, drivers have five days to correct any missed tolls that may be on their
Earlier this month, the turnpike announced
that it had activated its two millionth SunPass transponder – a system that is
supposed to be compatible with E-ZPass and O-Pass systems – in the four years
launched the system.
However, the problem with the incorrect
tickets seems to lie in SunPass’s interoperability with the other systems. If a
dormant E-ZPass account is activated by a motorist and used on the same day,
SunPass’s method of gathering information on E-ZPass accounts doesn’t catch the
The result? A ticket, for passing through the
tollbooths with what appears to be an inactive account.
The glitch has caused some major problems
with drivers, besides the abundance of incorrect tickets. According to the Sentinel, one woman was ticketed nine
times in April and May, despite having money in her E-ZPass account. Another
woman had her license suspended after she discovered and replaced a dead
battery in her transponder, but forgot to call the turnpike to report the mistake.
“You don’t have a zero-tolerance policy
unless you have a perfect system,” Bryan Douglas, a spokesperson for E-ZPass,
told the Sentinel.