So...You get a bill for a toll gate...someplace you've never BEEN...?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by CaseyJones, May 26, 2020.

  1. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

    Aug 7, 2007
    Littleton, CO
    Well, a person should be careful before playing "shit house lawyer" like that.

    We used to have a similar law here in CO where the speed cameras were operated by a private company that then sent you the notice. On the notice you had the option of (a) just paying the fine, (b) checking the block and signing (under penalty of perjury) that it was not you in the picture, or (c) going to court to fight it. There was language on the ticket that indicated that if the ticket was ignored, you were subject to having a warrant issued for your arrest.

    BUT, State law at that time required that before any kind of warrant was issued, the ticket had to be "personally served" by a law enforcement officer. If the ticket was "served" in this way, an additional $75 service fee was added to the ticket, BUT if the ticket was not served within 90 days of the violation, it was automatically dismissed.

    And they actually DID have officers who would walk the streets serving tickets in the evening after work (I'm guessing this was the detail that was either given to the 'new guys' or the ones on the verge of retirement, or else it was used as a punishment for pissing off the Sergeant or whatever.) So if you got a citation in the mail, all you'd have to do is literally not answer your door for a maximum of 90 days and you were good to go.

    Well, enough people did that (and the private company that ran the speed cameras complained enough) that the legislature changed the law, so as of 2013, "service" could be obtained by mailing a copy of the citation to the driver's last known address. Since mailing the ticket now qualified as "service", ignoring the ticket automatically meant a bench warrant was issued.
  2. Gone in 60

    Gone in 60 Been here awhile

    Jan 19, 2013
    Orange County CA
    In the end, I figured I'd paid it, I got to use online traffic school to get it off of my record, so what's done was done. If I hadn't, despite what this guy told me, ya never know, maybe someday I'd be going for a loan and this would creep back as an unpaid collection debt.

    Gotta be careful around here... although L.A. decided to remove their red light cameras, there are still some sprinkled around Orange County. I don't go around blowing red lights, but the one I got was for not coming to a complete stop before making a right turn. Pretty nit-picky.
  3. CaptCapsize

    CaptCapsize Long timer

    Jan 7, 2012
    Corrales, New Mexico
    Not a toll road but sort of a "Big Brother" approach.
    Long ago the city Albuquerque installed Red Light cameras via a contract with company that provide camera and the ticketing process. The ordinance the city implemented it with was full of BS. Basically no enforcement if you didn't pay.

    The city said it was for safety, because too may people believed "it was only sort of red". It did reduce the red light running, but at the expense of a lot of rear end collisions. "Why did you stop, it was only sort of red"?

    The contract with the red light camera company, required they get paid for every citation issued. The city only got money, only if the ticket was actually paid. The city was losing $4,000,000 per year on their Red Light Camera idea. So after a few years they ended the contract, and removed the cameras.

    It kind of makes you want to do business with this city.:deal
    You gotta love government intelligence.
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  4. StormShearon

    StormShearon Been here awhile

    Aug 7, 2010
    That is good to hear you had a good customer suppport experience. The bills are auto-sent by the third party company, but disputes are handled by folks in Washington, as is the case with most tolling operations these days - at least that has been reported in the local papers. There have been a few cases where the customer support person reluctantly dropped the bill even while admitting that the vehicle in the picture was not the customers, but rather an out of state vehicle, and that if it happened again, they would be stuck with the bill. It is Washington, and the state runs some programs rather obtusely, seemingly with little regard for reality.
  5. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan Supporter

    Oct 25, 2004
    Scottsdale Arizona
    I've had a couple good experiences with those toll collectors: The first was on a trip from Louisville to Boston in the remnants of some hurricane that hit the Gulf coast. I entered I-90 from NY. It is a toll road all the way to Boston. In driving rain I was soaked to the skin through my worn out waterproof gear. Obviously I wasn't able to dig cash out of my pockets to pay tolls so I just blew them through the transponder lane. I expected a few hundred dollar bill, but never heard a thing.

    But the best is more recently. I had been using my Boston transponder that seemed to work on all toll roads east of the big river. A couple years ago I was riding from AZ back to Boston and used the Oklahoma Expressway to cross the state. I noticed at the toll gates that the light flashed yellow rather than green, but barged ahead anyway to finish my trip. Several weeks later I got a letter from the agency in Oklahoma that explained very nicely that I had violated their toll roads by not paying them. They went on to request that I sign up for their transponder in the future...
  6. olegbabich

    olegbabich Been here awhile

    Sep 2, 2013
    Look at photo of your plate, NJ did it to me, got my KTM enduro plate on NJ Turnpike. Was not my bike and not my plate. A dyslectic computer reversed 2 letters. The photo showed a Ducati. I disputed and it was fixed in 2 minutes.
    dharmadan likes this.
  7. Dtx915

    Dtx915 Long timer

    Jun 6, 2018
    A guy I know will do that with the last payment on a bill he didn't like just to make them send a statement for the next year, heck of a way to get your over payment one postage stamp at a time plus the crap in the envelope LOL
  8. flei

    flei cycletherapist

    Apr 1, 2013
    Western Mass.
    Is the problem with these toll/redlight/etc. systems actually a problem with our government, or is the problem our government farming this out to the private for-profit industries who profit from it? :augie
    Flyin' Monkeys likes this.
  9. Khantahr

    Khantahr Been here awhile

    Apr 21, 2019
    For me it's more an issue with the private companies making a profit. I'm leary of tracking via cameras in general, and I wish there were a way to curtail it, but aside from that, I approve of red light cameras in particular. Running reds is far more dangerous than speeding and I approve of catching every one that happens.

    I'm ok with tolls as a general principle, provided it's used to pay for the bridge/road and is removed once paid off. I know that happened with the old 520 bridge in Seattle, as well as the Astoria bridge over the Columbia. I think that is a great way to pay for it.

    Private companies making a profit off it though, F that.
    CROSSBOLT likes this.
  10. HuntWhenever

    HuntWhenever Motorcicle Commuter

    Jul 31, 2017
    SW Ohio
    In Optical Character Recognition (OCR) algorithms, there is a setting called Confusion Threshold for this very thing. You set a score (usually a percentage) in which a recognized character has to be below an amount of confusion with other characters in the font database before the recognized character is considered discernible. They probably use a relatively high confusion threshold (allowing some confusion to pass) because to them, its better to mis-read the tag and send a bill to the wrong person than to get a complete read failure and send no one a bill.
    dharmadan likes this.
  11. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

    Aug 10, 2010
    Western Montana copy of the photo.

    From what he said..."Yeah, that's not a Honda OR a Kawasaki" (my plate was previously on a Honda and one of his records showed that bike; apparently someone's database is mucked up)...but the way he said it, and how cagey he was about how the plate was misread (I asked if he had gotten a partial on it)...he wasn't going to share. He just said, seems it's another state.

    That, too, puzzles me - I have a special-series Montana plate, with four digits. There aren't many states, if any, that use four digits - even motorcycles typically have five digits; and cars, six or seven.

    But the bottom line is, he said it was gone; good and done. Don't worry about it.

    Why press my luck?
    dharmadan likes this.
  12. Snowbird

    Snowbird Cereal Killer

    Mar 19, 2008
    Between the Great Lakes and Appalachia
    Probably both. But the core problem is turning law enforcement over to machines; a decision that will not go well. Machines have nothing to lose, at this stage of development anyway. All this reminds me of the movie "Brazil" which has nothing to do with Brazil, so I don't know why Terry Gilliam chose that as the title. Before someone claims they'd rather face a hard and fast machine for law enforcement, it's important that real officers be properly trained, which may cost money, but we need jobs anyway.
  13. JaySwear

    JaySwear Been here awhile

    Oct 30, 2014
    Gaithersburg, MD
    My grandad recently got a bill for a toll or speeding ticket (can't remember which) in Colorado. I knew that he hadn't; he's always been a very cautious driver, actually gave up his license when his eye sight started deteriorating, and oh he's been dead for about 5 years. Called the help number on their website and it was all resolved within a few minutes!
    dharmadan likes this.
  14. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

    Oct 26, 2010
    Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
    I'm still waiting for bills from the Mass Pike, the New York State Thruway and the Throgs Neck Bridge from 2 years ago. I guess they are having difficulty reading my Sonora, Mexico tag.
    My tag is slightly smaller than US state tags. The new tags for moto in Mexico are bigger now that Mexico city is using cameras. I hope to be testing Washington state's system in late June.
    CROSSBOLT likes this.
  15. element6

    element6 Adventurer Supporter

    Mar 16, 2011
    I did get a toll bill from the Delaware Water Gap Bridge when I hadn't been there. Best I can tell is that the replacement transponder I requested was shipped in a non-Faraday envelope and tripped the sensor on its way to me. Easy fix.
  16. haystack

    haystack Just ride

    Aug 20, 2007
    Jersey Highlands
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  17. davenowherejones

    davenowherejones short old guy

    Jun 27, 2013
    Hope "I get there", BC, Canada
    BC had toll bridges around Vancouver for a while. I think it cost more to collect the tolls than they made. Pain in the ass.
    CROSSBOLT likes this.
  18. windmill

    windmill Long timer

    Feb 18, 2008
    Kent, Washington State
    No option is free of flaws, those who will object to them, or their cost.
  19. DC2wheels

    DC2wheels Castle Anthrax troll Supporter

    Jul 11, 2008
    I had a worse frustrating incident with the NYS Thruway.

    We went to visit friends at their vacation home in the Catskills. I was driving our pickup that was carrying our truck camper and pulling my MC trailer with a DRZ400.
    We got on the Thruway at interchange #21 (no toll ticket since we have an EZpass) then exited at #23.

    A month or so later we get a Thruway bill for #21 to the end near Buffalo which was $66.55 plus a $25 administration fee. WTF???

    Multiple calls and several back and forth letters revealed that the EZpass sensors correctly registered us getting on at #21 but failed to register us exiting at #23, so they assume we went all the way to the end.

    But after finally finding someone at NY EZpass that understood my/their problem, they had a digital image of my truck, camper, trailer and bike getting off at #23.

    Another letter to them, explaining what THEIR employee found reduced my toll back to the correct amount $4.28.

    They would not forgive the $25 admin fee. I wanted to fight it.

    But since we frequently are over in NYS and on their #%@!&&@! Thruway, DCwife said just pay the thing and get this crap over with.

    I did. DAMN!
    dharmadan likes this.
  20. der_saeufer

    der_saeufer ?איפה בירה

    Apr 30, 2011
    They probably don't have access to Mexico's/Sonora's vehicle registration database, and it'd be more work to get it than they'd ever make by mailing fines to Mexico that they'd never be able to enforce in court for the 3 Mexican-registered vehicles a year that blow the tolls.

    American-registered bikes seem immune to speed camera tickets in Europe for a similar reason... not that I'd know.