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Old 03-30-2015, 10:34 PM   #1
wizze OP
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I-405 motorcycle toll violates Federal law

http://www.king5.com/story/news/loca...olls/70707396/

Federal law requires states to let motorcycles into HOV lanes for free. Safety concerns recognized by the Transportation Secretary are the only exceptions.
Now, WSDOT plans to require bikers who want to avoid a toll to purchase Good to Go! passes to use on the I-405 express lanes opening later this year.
Bikers said the policy violates federal law.
"There is now a requirement for someone to buy a pass for something that federal law tells us we are already allowed to use regardless of what the toll may or may not be," said motorcycle safety instructor Rolf Vitous.
As part of his job, Vitous has been studying the rules of the law as it applies to motorcycles for years.
"It's frustrating because we were told all along as we were going through that motorcycles won't have to pay. We won't have to worry about it," Vitous said.
Bikers on 167 haven't needed passes to use the HOT lanes so Vitous can't understand why WSDOT would change the policy for I-405.
"I honestly think they are going out of their way to bend rules," he said.
WSDOT's director of toll operations, Patty Rubstello said the change is largely due to equipment.
She said 167 doesn't rely on a photo enforcement system, I-405 does.
"When the system takes a picture of the license plate we don't know if you are a motorcycle or a carpooler so that is why we are requiring those who don't need to pay the toll to have a transponder," Rubstello said.
Vitous argues any barriers to motorcycles using the lanes constitutes a violation of the federal law.
"Our read of it is we are allowing them in," Rubstello said. "That is no different than what we are offering to carpools, vanpools and anyone else who meets the requirement."
Vitous argues the federal law makes it clear motorcycles are different. Unlike vehicles, which may or may not qualify as carpools and be exempt from tolls, bikers are always entitled to a free trip.
"I would say they are a lot tricky," Vitous said. "They are. They are just looking for another means to try and track most people."
KING 5 checked with other toll agencies around the country and there isn't consensus around the rules.
In Los Angeles, bikers don't have to buy a transponder for express lanes on I-10, for instance, but in Georgia on I-85 they do.
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wizze screwed with this post 03-30-2015 at 10:49 PM
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Old 03-31-2015, 01:44 AM   #2
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So are out of state riders who are just passing through expected to open a good to go account, preload it with $30, and spend $8 on a sticker? Absolute bullshit. They should have done 405 just like 167.

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Old 03-31-2015, 05:57 AM   #3
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I've alerted the AMA.
They have successfully worked this issue in other states.
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:00 AM   #4
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I have a good to go account for my bike (TN bridge tolls). If they don't know I'm a motorcycle, what keeps them from pulling the toll out of my account with our without a sticker? I don't have a sticker on my bike because I hate stickers and prefer to pay the 0.25 extra to cross the bridge.
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:41 AM   #5
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If the company managing the tolls can't tell the difference between a motorcycle and a car we are truly in trouble with this program.
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:57 AM   #6
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If the company managing the tolls can't tell the difference between a motorcycle and a car we are truly in trouble with this program.
Right about that!
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:15 AM   #7
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I submitted the following question to the WUTC after I received the same basic reply as KING regarding the requirement for a motorcycle to have a Good To Go sticker.

Why did the DOT decide not to allow motorcyclists to open a “pay by plate” account, and simply make an administrative rule to disallow billing for motorcycles so registered? This more simplistic method would not place any financial or administrative burden on the rider.

No answer as yet.

My opinion is that the vendor has chosen the method for dealing with carpoolers and motorcycles for their convenience and revenue generation. Since the vendor will get the bulk of the money generated by the tolling system (and bear the costs of systems modifications for dealing with exceptions), there is no incentive for them to encourage non-paid use of the new lanes by legitimate users.

The State response is essentially that we're consistent, we treat both legitimate user groups equally badly.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:15 AM   #8
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This is 2015, the age of technology. They try to make excuses why technology prevents them from using available technology. Absolute BS.

Use existing camera equipment and just cross reference the "photo" to the DOL license plate number that is registered to the type vehicle in a database. The system already looks up the plate number to attach to registration/address. Simple, when it is a motorcycle (which is clearly defined on registration) then the "toll" collection function is disabled. It isn't that hard to overcome this perceived "issue".
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:19 AM   #9
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They're doing you a favor. Federal law allows motorcycles in the HOV lanes, it doesn't provide for free passage on a toll road. Here in California I pay the same tolls as the HOV and if the HOV lane is free, then it's also free for me.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:20 AM   #10
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What about these things? Moto or car? I say car...
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slugsmasher View Post
This is 2015, the age of technology. They try to make excuses why technology prevents them from using available technology. Absolute BS.

Use existing camera equipment and just cross reference the "photo" to the DOL license plate number that is registered to the type vehicle in a database. The system already looks up the plate number to attach to registration/address. Simple, when it is a motorcycle (which is clearly defined on registration) then the "toll" collection function is disabled. It isn't that hard to overcome this perceived "issue".
Of course it's BS. However, I'll bet the vendor would require a "change order" to make this happen. It is probably easiest (and cheapest) for them to read a transponder, then look in their own database of Good to Go users for account information.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:25 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by larryboy View Post
They're doing you a favor. Federal law allows motorcycles in the HOV lanes, it doesn't provide for free passage on a toll road. Here in California I pay the same tolls as the HOV and if the HOV lane is free, then it's also free for me.
Depends on how "toll road" is defined, I guess. I would interpret what Washington is doing as allowing fee-based access to an HOV lane by non-HOV traffic. That's a bit different than allowing free use of a toll road by HOV traffic.

It would cost a fair amount of money and time to argue that point in court. If you're interested, read up on Washington's approach to toll collection for an education in how an administrative body (WUTC) can subvert due process quite successfully.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:30 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by WetSideRider View Post
Depends on how "toll road" is defined, I guess. I would interpret what Washington is doing as allowing fee-based access to an HOV lane by non-HOV traffic. That's a bit different than allowing free use of a toll road by HOV traffic.

It's called a "toll" in the article by the person wanting free passage. Motorcycles don't get free tolls under federal law, all we can expect is the same as the HOV's, you guys are actually getting a better deal than other places. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:37 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Grahamcracker View Post
What about these things? Moto or car? I say car...
With THOSE shoes, its definately a car
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Old 03-31-2015, 10:18 AM   #15
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WUTC answer to my question.

Finally, why did the DOT decide not to allow motorcyclists to open a “pay by plate” account, and simply make an administrative rule to disallow billing for motorcycles so registered? This more simplistic method would not place any financial or administrative burden on the rider.
"There is no way to identify the license plate belongs to a motorcycle. A Good To Go! pass is required for toll exemptions as it is the most cost effective way rather than processing a license plate image."

What I think this means is that processing a plate image is more expensive than dealing with a Good to Go pass. I don't think it is truthful that there is no way to identify that a plate belongs to a motorcycle.
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