07 November 2006

Rene's Blog Post on EZ Pass

René recently posted an entry on her blog about EZ Pass and the bar exam. I disagree with her on EZ Pass being just as neat as passing the bar exam, although I do think it's neat. My family has had it for a number of years -- at least five years, probably more. In any case, it really saves us time (and sometimes money) at toll plazas. When I was younger, we used to have to wait in long lines at the toll booth to go across the Throgs Neck Bridge. Now, it is very rare to have these long lines. We just go straight through the EZ Pass lanes, and it takes a minute or so. The neatest EZ Pass lanes are the ones on the New Jersey Turnpike, where you can go through them at fifty-five miles per hour. There are also some areas around New York City where they gauge how long it takes a person to go from point A to point B by capturing the EZ Pass information at both locations. They then post that information on a wizard sign. They could use that to catch speeders, of course.
For example: If Pierre travels from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Waterproof, Louisiana in 1 1/2 hours, and the cities are 118 miles apart, Pierre must have gone faster than sixty miles per hour at some point on his journey. Therefore, if the speed limit is fifty-five miles per hour, Pierre must have sped at some point on his journey. This journey is not apocryphal, there really is a Waterproof, Louisiana. Here is a link to Google maps so you can see this journey yourself. (And yes, I know that EZ-Pass does not exist in Louisiana, I just wanted to talk about Pierre and Waterproof)
EZ-Pass does not do this. However, if you exceed the speed limit going through the toll plaza, they can photograph your license plate and potentially mail you a ticket or take away your EZ-Pass privileges. I would not want my EZ-Pass privileges taken away; I've seen the lines for non-EZ-Pass lanes at the toll plazas and am glad I never have to wait on them.
And René, you still might want to make sure you are fully clothed while going through EZ-Pass lanes. Sometimes there are people in the booths. Particularly on the I-78 crossing over the Delaware into Pennsylvania, there are often people in the booths. I guess people crossing there have trouble understanding the signs that say "EZ-Pass Only" lanes, so they need people there so the people who don't have EZ-Pass can pay the toll.

1 comment:

Jerry said...

I've heard that they used to ticket speeders on the road from West Germany to West Berlin in much the same way--if you made the drive too fast, you must have sped sometime. And since you couldn't really stop or exit into East Germany, your goose was cooked.

I'm not sure I'd support doing the same thing here in the states--there's something to be said for getting caught by the cops fair and square, as opposed to some machine getting you every time.

But then, think of the money it would save--no traffic patrols, state troopers could be on more important things, etc.

I think they'd have to bump up the limits before such at thing took place. I can't drive 55.

'Cause it only goes, 38.