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By droseman | November 20th, 2012 - 4:28pm
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SENATE PANEL RELEASES WEINBERG ‘TRUTH IN TOLLING ACT’ TO ENSURE E-ZPASS USERS KNOW HOW MUCH THEY’RE CHARGED

TRENTON – Legislation Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg sponsored to ensure E-ZPass users know exactly how much is being drawn from their accounts at toll booths along the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway was released by the Senate Transportation Committee yesterday.

Weinberg said the measure is necessary as E-ZPass users, once they clear a toll booth, are generally greeted only by an electronic sign that tells them their toll has been paid, but not the amount that has been automatically withdrawn from their account.

“While E-ZPass has made getting on and off our toll roads quicker, it has also made it more mysterious as drivers don’t always know how much they’re actually paying,” said Weinberg (D-Bergen). “Especially on a road like the Turnpike, where tolls differ based on how far you drive, the amount taken from your account shouldn’t be a guessing game. The toll-paying public deserves to know what they’re being charged, plain and simple.”

Under the measure (S-1434, the “Truth In Tolling Act”), the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the South Jersey Transportation Authority would be required to install technology during their next scheduled equipment upgrades that would inform drivers of the actual amounts being charged to their accounts.

The bill would exempt toll booths from the state’s major bridges and tunnels from its provisions, as those are controlled by bi-state agencies and would require identical legislation to be passed in multiple states to take effect. High-speed express E-ZPass lanes also would be exempted.

“Drivers have embraced E-ZPass because of its ease and convenience, but those benefits should not come at the cost of losing the right to know the cost of driving on our toll roads,” said Weinberg.

The bill now heads to the full Senate.

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"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran

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