Why do people sit in their cars in long lines to pay tolls on highways and bridges? Some do so because they do not want to sign up for the â€śtranspondersâ€ť (like E-Z Pass) that charge tolls to an account. Some do it because they do not want a record of where they have traveled.
The future is coming now.
Overhead electronic monitors are now reading the transponders while you drive through at full speed. If you do not have a transponder, a camera is recording your license plate and sending you a bill for the toll.
The only way to not being recorded and having to pay tolls is to take the long way around; avoid toll roads, usually at the cost of time and fuel.
If you pay your toll through the mail, it will cost more than by transponder. If you rent a car make sure you have an understanding with the rental company about how tolls will be handled.
Transponders are everywhere. E-Z Pass covers 14 states, from Maine to Virginia to Illinois. It is available by phone and online. You can also get it at some retail service-centers.
As to whether the new systems violate privacy, an official says, â€śThis is not a violation. There is no implication of being bad. You were just choosing your method of payment.â€ť