Bethlehem Press

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Watch your speed in E-Z Pass lane

Thursday, March 26, 2015 by CHRIS PARKER in Local News

The Pennsylvania Turnpike's electronic toll transponder, or E-ZPass, allows drivers to pay without stopping to hand a collector change.

But not so fast: The Turnpike Commission wants people to remember the speed limit for E-ZPass lanes is 5 mph.

Turnpike Commission spokesman Carl DeFebo says safety is the driving force behind the commission's decision to install more speed limit and pedestrian crossing signs, and digital signs that show drivers how fast they are going through E-ZPass lanes.

"Most of our customers, about three-quarters of them, are now paying with E-ZPass, and we wanted to be sure we're keeping them safe, and keeping the collectors safe," he says.

"We want our customers to be aware that there are people who are working who cross those lanes. Collectors often have to cross the lanes to get to their booths. It was time for us to step up awareness," DeFebo says.

Speeding through an E-ZPass lane can get your account suspended, or even involve state police. Collectors who see a driver speeding through an E-ZPass lane can get the license plate. The commission will send a warning letter for the first violation. Repeat offenders could lose their accounts.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission operates 336 E-ZPass entry and exit lanes combined. Of those, 157 lanes are dedicated E-ZPass-only lanes. Another 80 lanes are mixed-mode lanes that accept both cash and E-ZPass, and the remaining 99 are E-ZPass capable lanes that are mostly being operated in cash-only mode.

These E-ZPass capable lanes can be switched over at each interchange as needed to accommodate future E-ZPass growth in the long run, and they can temporarily be switched to accommodate a short-term rush of E-ZPass traffic as needed.

E-ZPass, the world's largest interoperable tolling system, has been available in Pennsylvania for nearly 15 years. There are more than 26 million E-ZPass tags in circulation among 26 toll agencies across 15 states, according to the Turnpike Commission.