2012-07-26 / News

Amnesty for toll dodgers ends in August

In response to public feedback, the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority on June 22 added open-road tolling on the Newport Pell Bridge with dedicated lanes for E-ZPass. RITBA has enacted a grace period for those who used the E-ZPass-only lanes by accident because they were unaccustomed to the new configuration.

The grace period will end on Wednesday, Aug. 1, when the authority will enforce its unpaid toll schedule.

During the amnesty period, the toll remains $2 per axle. Starting in August, all who use open-roadtolling lanes without a valid transponder will be responsible for a $5 per axle fee.

“If drivers are unsure about which lane they should be in, it’s always best to choose the righthand lanes,” said David Darlington, chairman of authority’s board. “The lanes with gates and staffed toll booths will accept payments in cash or by E-ZPass. However, if drivers don’t have valid transponders and use the E-ZPass-only lanes, they will incur additional costs. To avoid that from happening, we advise drivers to stay alert and choose the correct lane. In order to be fair and responsible to the vast majority who do pay, RITBA must collect unpaid tolls. It’s a relatively nominal charge to pay by mail. For the drivers who deliberately avoid toll payments, we must enact a toll schedule that offsets the costs to collect delinquent tolls.”

Cameras positioned on the plaza’s overhead gantry take photographs of license plates of the vehicles using the E-ZPass lanes without valid transponders. The first notice fee will be $5 per axle, due in 14 calendar days.

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