Millions of people will be traveling by car this holiday season to visit family members and friends to spread Christmas cheer and many of them travelling up and down the east coast using their E-Z Passes to cut through traffic congestion at toll road “choke points” to make it home sooner.
What they may not know is that E-Z Pass comes with a huge “Big Brother” downside. The authorities can track your travel and detect how fast you were driving from toll point to toll point – just the information they need to suspend your E-Z Pass account and even issue speeding tickets to offenders.
In New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania, authorities keep track of speeding drivers through E-Z Pass toll lanes and will suspend an E-Z Pass for multiple speeding violations. Five of 15 E-Z Pass states have laws related to breaking the speed limit in fast lanes.
Here is the state-by-state breakdown.
- New York: Authorities can suspend your E-Z Pass if you speed through E-Z Pass lanes that typically have a 30 mph speed limit through toll gates.
- Maryland: Drivers that exceed the toll plaza speed limit of 30 mph by 12 mph more, the state we will send you a warning. If a driver gets a second such notice within six months, their E-Z Pass account can be suspended for up to 60 days.
- Pennsylvania: If a toll collector sees an E-Z Pass driver blow through a toll plaza at high speed, they’ll get a license plate and send a warning letter to the owner. If the owner disregards the warning, the state can suspend their E-Z Pass privileges.
- West Virginia: Authorities can suspend the accounts of E-Z Pass drivers who repeatedly speed but rarely does so.
- Rhode Island: Lasers are used to check speed not only at the toll plaza but on the only E-Z Pass travel lanes on the Claiborne Pell Bridge – the only toll road in the state – where drivers can be disqualified for speeding after getting a warning.
- Virginia: E-Z Pass customers sign an agreement to abide by the speed limit through toll plazas with no penalty for breaking the law,
- North Carolina: Driver speeds on Quick Pass toll roads, which also accept E-Z Pass accounts, are not monitored.
- Delaware: The E-Z Pass system is not used to monitor speed. I is considered a law enforcement issue.
- Maine: The E-Z Pass system is not used to monitor speed.
- Massachusetts: The E-Z Pass system is not used to monitor speed.
- New Hampshire: The E-Z Pass system is not used to monitor speed. It is considered a law enforcement issue.
- New Jersey: The E-Z Pass on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway records the speed of vehicles coming through but no tickets are issued.
- Ohio: The E-Z Pass system is not used to monitor speed.
- Information for E-Z Pass in Indiana and I-PASS in Illinois was not available.
It is important to point out that in each of these states, the infrastructure in place to bring the hammer down on speeding drivers. It only takes an act by a state legislature, governor or policing authority to turn the E-Z Pass programs from a convenience for drivers in a hurry into a nationwide speed trap – so drivers beware.