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View Full Version : Sneaky (and confusing) E-Z Pass Lanes



Jersey Warren
01-26-2007, 01:31 PM
Though this happened during my visit last October, I've been too busy to write about it until now. After I got home, I received three letters from Dollar Rental Car forwarding State of New Jersey "Notice of Enforcement Action" notices to me. First of all, Dollar Rental Car charged $25 to my credit card for handling each one.

Then I had to pay NJ E-Z the missed tolls, plus a $25 "administrative fee" for two of them. (They put two violations on one notice, whereas Dollar Rental Car split them into three violations and charged me $75.

If I had been attempting to evade the tolls, I would have accepted it as getting what I deserved. But I never even saw the signs, not once, but at three separate toll plazas on the Parkway on two different days. Where do they put the signs, on the moon?

For years, if you wanted to take the express lanes, you got into the left lanes. That is now apparently, the E-Z Pass lane. What if you don't want to take the local lanes? I could see no way to avoid the E-Z Pass lanes without getting all the way over to the right and taking the local lanes. I could see making this mistake once, but according to them it was three times. I can only guess about the other two plazas.

I think they deliberately make this confusing in order to collect more revenue. I emailed E-Z Pass and told them I have been a loyal Jerseyan in exile all these years but that I now felt like burning my Giants cap! (I know, JD thinks I should do that anyway!)

It's a shame when a visit to your home state leaves a bad taste in your mouth because of a highway authority that puts collecting revenue over the well-being of motorists.

Has anyone else here inadvertently gotten into the wrong lanes on the Parkway and been photographed by the "Big Brother Is Watching You" cameras? I'm not a dense, inattentive motorist. Isn't this setup very confusing? :(

MITHRANDIR
01-27-2007, 08:18 PM
Though this happened during my visit last October, I've been too busy to write about it until now. After I got home, I received three letters from Dollar Rental Car forwarding State of New Jersey "Notice of Enforcement Action" notices to me. First of all, Dollar Rental Car charged $25 to my credit card for handling each one.

Then I had to pay NJ E-Z the missed tolls, plus a $25 "administrative fee" for two of them. (They put two violations on one notice, whereas Dollar Rental Car split them into three violations and charged me $75.

If I had been attempting to evade the tolls, I would have accepted it as getting what I deserved. But I never even saw the signs, not once, but at three separate toll plazas on the Parkway on two different days. Where do they put the signs, on the moon?

For years, if you wanted to take the express lanes, you got into the left lanes. That is now apparently, the E-Z Pass lane. What if you don't want to take the local lanes? I could see no way to avoid the E-Z Pass lanes without getting all the way over to the right and taking the local lanes. I could see making this mistake once, but according to them it was three times. I can only guess about the other two plazas.

I think they deliberately make this confusing in order to collect more revenue. I emailed E-Z Pass and told them I have been a loyal Jerseyan in exile all these years but that I now felt like burning my Giants cap! (I know, JD thinks I should do that anyway!)

It's a shame when a visit to your home state leaves a bad taste in your mouth because of a highway authority that puts collecting revenue over the well-being of motorists.

Has anyone else here inadvertently gotten into the wrong lanes on the Parkway and been photographed by the "Big Brother Is Watching You" cameras? I'm not a dense, inattentive motorist. Isn't this setup very confusing? :(

Sorry to hear you were charged without knowing you went through the EZ-Pass lanes.

(I personally think they should do away with all the toll booths, but that is a conversation for another day. ;))

I would complain to Dollar rental, but I am not sure what they would do for you. :(

I think each toll plaza should have a lane with a live person to collect the necessary toll. There are some plazas that are only automated (Exact change or EZ-Pass) which necessitate one to find exact change or go through the toll w/out paying.

I do not think the lanes are overly confusing, but I do think it is easy to get caught in the wrong lane due to the curving nature of the road.

My mom received tickets without cause. (Once at DEL MEM BR and Twice on GSP)

She paid the fine once, and I fought the fine the other 2 times for her.

When I fought the charges, I submitted the form and explained why she did not deserve the ticket. (Each time you need to pay for postage and the toll.)

I think it is a type of scam. Even if you are not guilty you have to pay the toll again and pay for postage.

I personally will not use EZ-Pass out of principle and that I do not trust government that much.

(EZ-Pass makes it very easy to track vehicle and hand out speeding tickets if someone is motivated enough to do so.)

It is easier for me to ignore using EZ-Pass since I do not travel regularly on EZ-Pass roads.

(If one is not overly concerned about time there are ways to avoid some of the (70˘) tolls, if one is willing to look at a map and plan their route accordingly.)

Although if the price of fuel goes above a certain price (depends on MPG of your vehicle), this would not be economical.

DSVoorhees
08-18-2007, 02:52 PM
I had the same experience. For the life of me I could not figure out how I could have been subject to a violation short of official fraud amounting to "highway robbery"! It was only when I googled and found this thread that I "figured out" that maybe I had done a "lane violation".

I knew I did not leave the toll station without paying the requested sum and without getting a "green light" from the station. I "studied" the lane entry signs before I selected the one I chose and selected to the best of my ability the correct lane. I think a motorist would have to know more than what the signs indicate to be free of the potential for violation. This is a scam and GSP knows it.

I, too, had an out-of-state license plate. Maybe that's the decisive factor in GPS deciding whether to spring the trap.

I am "weighing my options" at this point.

Jersey Warren
08-18-2007, 05:05 PM
The only good resolution I had was that after writing to the CEO of Dollar Rental Cars, I did get them to credit me for half of the service charge they originally charged me, so it cost me only $25, instead of $50, plus the charge to NJ EZ Pass, which totaled $50 plus the amount of the tolls.

:(

NJBarb
08-24-2007, 08:11 AM
This happens all the time - to me and everyone I know! Up the GSP there are lane shifts and in the high traffic areas (Toms River etc) it is sometimes hard to get in the exact change lanes - they shoe-horn you into the EZ pass lane and then its a ticket! The other thing that happens a LOT is when the toll booths don't register your change - you throw in your 70 cents but the 'Paid' sign doesn't come up and half the time you throw in another quarter or a few dimes to make it come up. The money-grubbing on the highways is ridiculous - they either want to scrape every last penny they can from the poor commuters or they want to make us so beaten down and disgusted that we will agree to sell the highways to some of Corzine's buddies!

NJBarb
09-15-2007, 06:21 AM
Cindy Adams who has a column on Page Six in the NY Post did a huge rant on EZ Pass this week - she was driving thru Jersey from NYC to PA and got into one snafu after another. Should be required reading for every NJ pol.

JerseyDevil
09-15-2007, 08:59 AM
Cindy Adams who has a column on Page Six in the NY Post did a huge rant on EZ Pass this week - she was driving thru Jersey from NYC to PA and got into one snafu after another. Should be required reading for every NJ pol.

What were some problems she ran into? I mean for her - it would be entering the NJ Turnpike (going through EZ-Pass), driving along Turnpike, get off NJ Turnpike and go through EZ-Pass to pay your toll. If she "drove through" NJ to PA - there would be only two EZ Pass stops, well three or four if you count the bridge and tunnel. Although - you don't have to pay a toll when you come from Manhattan only leaving NJ. So basically - I don't really get it.

NJBarb
09-18-2007, 06:31 AM
Here s the link-
http://www.nypost.com/seven/09092007/gossip/cindy/e_z__my_pass__it_takes_a_toll_.htm

jerseyboy
09-24-2007, 09:55 AM
Jersey Warren,

I once had this kind of issue. I don't have a E-Z pass because I travel out only in weekends...

Once i was travelling south in GSP for Atlantic City, I accidentally got forced out to take the express lane... crowded and no hearts for the right indicator.

Well after 4 months, i received a notice in mail that I should pay $25 + 70 cents... which I voliated and the last date in next monday.

My SUVs trunk was clearly taken ... I think I was at the posted speed limit.

I received the notice on Friday, well thanks to the internet and I paid via credit card.

ezpass scam
10-09-2007, 04:14 PM
I feel compelled to chime in here. There are sections on the Parkway where the road surreptitiously splits and if you get confused, as I did, and end up in the ez pass express you will be sent a bill for the 70 cent toll + $25 "administration fee". And, don't even bother asking how to correct the problem at the next toll booth as they don't know a thing, they just work there. It's legal thievery! A scary scam affecting all who drive and don't happen to have the big brother ez pass system.

Victim
12-22-2007, 02:01 PM
I do believe this is a scam. I am a very conscientious driver, observing my surroundings and particularly when entering a toll area. Today, the Saturday before Christmas I get one of those dam "official legal notices" in the mail to pay that 25 dollars plus 70 cents. Let's all join together and get these scam artists.

JerseyDevil
12-27-2007, 09:39 AM
I like EZ_Pass for the convenience - but they should have some easy way for you to pay the 70 cents and avoid the fine - especially for honest mistakes. Not everyone is familiar with the toll roads. The only place where I see the "Missed the Toll?" sign is on the AC Expressway right before the visitors center. The thing is - I stopped off at the visitors center one time and there were two people from Philadelphia who were there who missed the toll. They were trying to get information on how to pay it but the visitors center was closed. They were people who made an honest mistake and were merely in the wrong lane. Now seriously - there are tons of signs that say "EZ Pass only" and so forth on the way up to the toll booth - but news flash - not everyone knows what EZPass is.

I wonder how other states work EZ-Pass and missed tolls. I know for instance that unlike NJ, Indiana's and Ohio's is not only FREE - but you also get a discounted toll fair for using it. But then again - we have a tax and spend government. We shouldn't look for any discounts from the NJ Legislature. In NJ you have to pay a dollar for the privilege of having EZPass.

MITHRANDIR
01-03-2008, 06:21 PM
I like EZ_Pass for the convenience - but they should have some easy way for you to pay the 70 cents and avoid the fine - especially for honest mistakes. Not everyone is familiar with the toll roads. The only place where I see the "Missed the Toll?" sign is on the AC Expressway right before the visitors center. The thing is - I stopped off at the visitors center one time and there were two people from Philadelphia who were there who missed the toll. They were trying to get information on how to pay it but the visitors center was closed. They were people who made an honest mistake and were merely in the wrong lane. Now seriously - there are tons of signs that say "EZ Pass only" and so forth on the way up to the toll booth - but news flash - not everyone knows what EZPass is.

I wonder how other states work EZ-Pass and missed tolls. I know for instance that unlike NJ, Indiana's and Ohio's is not only FREE - but you also get a discounted toll fair for using it. But then again - we have a tax and spend government. We shouldn't look for any discounts from the NJ Legislature. In NJ you have to pay a dollar for the privilege of having EZPass.

$1/month to pay for the EZ-pass system. I think it is being used to pay for NJ gov't incompetence. (In my theory at any rate) ;)

Not a bad thought about people being able to pay the toll without the admin. penalty. IIRC, at one time you were able to mail tolls to the GSP in an envelop (located at the toll booth) if you did not have the cash at the time. (I think it was done by the honor system)

I still think the best EZ pass is the one WITHOUT any toll booths. There must be a more efficient manner to pay for roads/bridges and tunnels than using toll booths. (fuel tax is one possible manner that comes to mind although I am sure that other means can be found.)

If toll booths are the best way to pay for roads than why are tolls not on every road in the state?

Although it (GSP/NJTP/ACE tolls) does not affect me much personally, the current toll system does not seem to make much sense to me.

A discounted fair would be a nice way to encourage more people to use EZpass.

Since I am familiar with many roads I can avoid many tolls by driving around them. If I travel to DE and/or points south I can cross the Delaware River at Trenton and avoid the tolls at the bridges.

In southern NJ I-295 is about the same as NJTP but much a better value to use.

In northern NJ, if time is not a critical issue, there are other alternatives to the NJTP.

With the new 1-way toll collection on the GSP, it is possible to avoid the 70˘ toll in certain areas with a minimum about of inconvenience.

IHateNJ
02-12-2008, 06:45 AM
I was on the GSP on my way to Atlantic City 2 months ago and recently got a ticket in the mail for $0.70 + $25 admin fee for supposedly not paying the toll. I don't have an ezpass so I went through all the cash lanes and paid the exact change every time. Apparently, one of the tolls didn't register my change and now I have this ticket to deal with for $25.70.

I am sure this is not an isolated incident I think they are running this scam on a lot of people, especially with out of state plates. You pay the toll AND get a ticket for toll + fine! I wonder how their judges handle these cases, they are probably in on it too "lets raise money for the State by scamming the people." I hope they get exposed to the public for what they are doing, people get reimbursed, and whoever is responsible is brought to justice!

Jersey Warren
02-12-2008, 08:08 AM
I was on the GSP on my way to Atlantic City 2 months ago and recently got a ticket in the mail for $0.70 + $25 admin fee for supposedly not paying the toll. I don't have an ezpass so I went through all the cash lanes and paid the exact change every time. Apparently, one of the tolls didn't register my change and now I have this ticket to deal with for $25.70.

I am sure this is not an isolated incident I think they are running this scam on a lot of people, especially with out of state plates. You pay the toll AND get a ticket for toll + fine! I wonder how their judges handle these cases, they are probably in on it too "lets raise money for the State by scamming the people." I hope they get exposed to the public for what they are doing, people get reimbursed, and whoever is responsible is brought to justice!

I was the one who started this thread, and if you look back, you see I not only had the $25 fee from the state of New Jersey, but ANOTHER $25 fee from Dollar Rental Cars! What's more, when New Jersey combined charges on one statement, Dollar copied them and sent me multiple statements with a separate $25 charge for each "violation"! After writing to their CEO, I managed to negotiate a half price charge of only $12.50 per "violation"! I've ridden on the Parkway since it was built in 1954. My grandfather used to let me and my brothers throw the quarters in the toll basket when we were kids. If I find getting in the right lane confusing, what chance does a first-time visitor have? :mad:

gpitinc
09-13-2008, 10:46 AM
Just wondering if any body actually disputed with GSP authorities.

I'm interested in knowing this because I got a notice alleging that I did not pay $0.35! :lmao:

And I decide to dispute with them.

MITHRANDIR
09-15-2008, 09:17 AM
Just wondering if any body actually disputed with GSP authorities.

I'm interested in knowing this because I got a notice alleging that I did not pay $0.35! :lmao:

And I decide to dispute with them.

I did dispute notices from GSP & NJTP. You still need to send in the amount of the toll.

If you dispute the infraction, you do not need to send in the $25 penalty. (at least not right away)

I never received a reply after disputing the infraction, so I never found out what if anything happens.

gpitinc
09-17-2008, 08:27 PM
I did dispute notices from GSP & NJTP. You still need to send in the amount of the toll.

If you dispute the infraction, you do not need to send in the $25 penalty. (at least not right away)

I never received a reply after disputing the infraction, so I never found out what if anything happens.

Thank you for your info! I just sent out my dispute with $0.35 check.:-D

Grenchat
02-19-2009, 04:45 PM
Many of us have aired our grievances on the Consumer Affairs website:

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/utilities/ez_pass.html

They will have a legal consultant review your grievance and possibly contact you.

As for myself, I was fined an administrative fee of $25 when I didn’t even use an e-zpass lane. There was no one in the booth to collect my toll, so I had no other choice but to drive through without paying. I sent in my uncollected bridge toll, but will not pay any undeserved administrative fee due to their lack of service at the toll plaza.

Jersey Warren
02-19-2009, 04:57 PM
If we had been driving our own car it would have been a snap to settle this. The GSP would have been reasonable, I think. The main problem was with Dollar Rent a Car, who multiplied NJ's violations by photocopying those NJ had combined on a single sheet and dividing them into multiple sheets with multiple fees. Needless to say, we'll never do business with them again!

NewJerseyFraudtolls
10-03-2009, 06:26 PM
trip from
NY to PA and paid all tolls but just got a violation for $1.40 toll and $25 Admin fee for a missed toll at Plaza 14 and lane 17W. Anyone have an idea where this toll is? This is so deceptive and wrong. I know I went in cash lanes and if I recall this said Cash on overhand but when go to booth no one was there and green light or green light said pass thru(something like that. I hate driving through Jersey all the signs are so messed up,some are 100 feet after an overpath so you can't see them unless you do less then 20 MPH nice way to cause accidents and deaths.:mad::mad:

MITHRANDIR
03-18-2010, 10:11 AM
trip from
NY to PA and paid all tolls but just got a violation for $1.40 toll and $25 Admin fee for a missed toll at Plaza 14 and lane 17W. Anyone have an idea where this toll is? This is so deceptive and wrong. I know I went in cash lanes and if I recall this said Cash on overhand but when go to booth no one was there and green light or green light said pass thru(something like that. I hate driving through Jersey all the signs are so messed up,some are 100 feet after an overpath so you can't see them unless you do less then 20 MPH nice way to cause accidents and deaths.:mad::mad:

The NJTP has you pay tolls when you exit the Turnpike. I have not traveled road in a while, but they should have a both with a person that can accept your toll payment.

I do not like it on some parkway exits that do not have a person with a cash lane available.

You are not able to legally pass without paying the toll, but if you do not have EZpass or exact change you are not able to pay the toll.

Jersey Warren
03-18-2010, 10:26 AM
I was in New Jersey twice recently and was VERY careful about getting in the right toll lane. A few years ago, my mistake costs me lots of money because when you're driving a rental car, the company charges you about $25 to forward each violation notice to you! When in the Dallas area last year they had put in a new toll road that only takes their Speed pass, no cash option at all. But the camera sends bill for the toll (but no fine) after you pass through. I asked the Dallas-area rental car company about this and they assured me that they do not charge an extra fee for this, they just forward the notice and let you pay the toll, which is as it SHOULD be. Still, most of the time I took the toll-free access roads instead of driving on the main toll roads.

JerseyDevil
03-18-2010, 11:04 AM
When in the Dallas area last year they had put in a new toll road that only takes their Speed pass, no cash option at all. But the camera sends bill for the toll (but no fine) after you pass through. I asked the Dallas-area rental car company about this and they assured me that they do not charge an extra fee for this, they just forward the notice and let you pay the toll, which is as it SHOULD be. Still, most of the time I took the toll-free access roads instead of driving on the main toll roads.
That woud be too logical. Everything is a beaurocratic mess in New Jersey, just hoping Chris Christie will actually fix things for both the citizens and visitors to New Jersey.

NJBarb
03-31-2010, 11:33 AM
That woud be too logical. Everything is a beaurocratic mess in New Jersey, just hoping Chris Christie will actually fix things for both the citizens and visitors to New Jersey.

I heard they are going to go "EZ Pass only" on the turnpike in Atlantic County - forget the exit # - on a road that gets a lot of traffic from the south short points to Camden County and Philly. If you dont have the $ they will take a picture of your car and send you a bill.
I mentioned how there were problems with some of the toll booths registering the change - sometimes if you throw in some extra change above the toll it works - and then you get a bill for the fine - $25! - because the camera took your car photo. So why is it the cameras always work but the coin registers are often jammed up?

Bumi
06-13-2010, 04:31 PM
2 weeks ago I entered the parkway. When I left through the toll booth it was a cash lane there was no way for me to drop the money. the collection box was covered. I had no chance to back up since there were cars on my back already.
Well I just drove through and last week I got a letter where I have to pay $1 + $25 $ fee.
Congratulations NJ that's an easy way to make extra money. It happened to my son and 2 of his friends as well probably at the same booth.
I don't go through all this drama with writing letters since I have no proof. They don't accept it by email so you have to write a letter and they probably wait for answer until your timeline is over and then charge $500.

Does anyone have an Idea what to do in such a case ? Next time I will take a picture of the collection box, but I just try to avoid theses crooked NJ Toll Highways.

catsailr
08-24-2010, 06:10 AM
I was in NJ the first week of August. I stopped at the toll booth and paid the attendant the $1 toll. Yesterday I get a notice from EZ Pass, along with a picture of my car, that I didn't pay the toll and owe $26, the $1 toll plus the administrative.

The form has places on the back to dispute, but my case would fall under Section B. This says that you must send the $1 toll fee to even be considered. This isn't much money, but I did pay the toll. Maybe I'll tell they that I'm a hillbilly from Tennessee and I ain't never seen no toll road before.

I would not mind paying the $26 if I had actually run through the EZ Pass. I was in Florida a couple of years ago in a rental car. I was in the far left lane of the turnpike and did go through the toll booth without paying. I couldn't get over in the right lane. The rental company got a notice and charged my credit card $3. $1 for the toll and $2 fine, which is reasonable.

I really enjoyed my trip to NJ since I hadn't been there since 1957 with my grandparents. But after receiving this notice, I don't think I'll ever be back if I can help it. What a way to promote tourism.

Jersey Warren
08-24-2010, 07:50 AM
.

I would not mind paying the $26 if I had actually run through the EZ Pass. I was in Florida a couple of years ago in a rental car. I was in the far left lane of the turnpike and did go through the toll booth without paying. I couldn't get over in the right lane. The rental company got a notice and charged my credit card $3. $1 for the toll and $2 fine, which is reasonable.

I really enjoyed my trip to NJ since I hadn't been there since 1957 with my grandparents. But after receiving this notice, I don't think I'll ever be back if I can help it. What a way to promote tourism.

The problem I had went beyond the state of NJ. They put three violations on a notice and forwarded it to Dollar Rental Cars. Dollar made three photocopies of the violations notice, sent it to me in three separate envelopes, and charged me $25 for forwarding each violation! After complaining a lot they agreed to reduce the charge to $12.50 for forwarding each notice (which the state had put all on one notice). Needless to say, I'm boycotting Dollar Rental Cars for the rest of my life.

On my last two trips to NJ I was extremely careful, and traveled in the right lane only on the Parkway whenever a toll booth was coming up. These times, I avoided the problem. Still, it's not the New Jersey of my youth,

catsailr
09-19-2010, 07:10 AM
I sent a protest to EZ Pass stating that I had paid the toll, but received a notice dated 9-9-10 that they were not dismissing the $26. I decided the easiest thing to do was to send them the payment since it appears that are only concerned with how much money they can collect. I did write a letter to the Governor with a copy to the Lt. Governor, the Dept. of Tourism, the Hope Area Chamber of Commerce, the Ocean Grove Chamber of Commerce, and EZ Pass.

I stated that my wife and I really enjoyed our visit and were thinking of returning to Ocean Grove next summer for a week, but there are many other places we can go where we won't have to but us with crap like this. I will never be in New Jersey again if I can help it.

JerseyDevil
09-19-2010, 09:53 AM
catsailr - I hope you will reconsider never visiting New Jersey again. I am glad you wrote all those agencies though. One of the issues is that government agencies don't see how so much is connected to tourism. EZ-Pass has nothing to do with tourism directly - but when someone has a bad experience such as yours, it does affect it. Hopefully the tourism agencies will be able to put pressure on the other agencies to get their act together, at least use it as a way of educating the non-tourism agencies on how important the visitor experience is from the time they enter NJ to the time they leave.

I have argued that the signage for many toll areas are badly designed for visitors. This is particularly true for northern New Jersey and around Newark Liberty International Airport. You come to a toll booth with about 20 lanes, you go through a toll booth and then you have to immediately decide what road you need to take - sometimes having to cross tons of traffic to try getting over to the ramp that you need. The signs should be placed over the toll booth, so you can see which side of the toll booth you should be on to get to the road you need to get onto.

Jersey Warren
09-19-2010, 02:39 PM
I started this thread after going back to NJ for my high school reunion four years ago and it still occasionally gets comments, so I guess this is an ongoing problem. I avoided the problem on my last two visits so it's no impossible, but does take a bit of foresight. I feel sorry for first-time visitors.