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By droseman | November 29th, 2012 - 6:04pm
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SENATE APPROVES WEINBERG ‘TRUTH IN TOLLING ACT’ TO ENSURE E-ZPASS USERS KNOW HOW MUCH THEY’RE CHARGED

TRENTON – The Senate today gave its approval to legislation 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.

Weinberg said the measure – named the “Truth In Tolling Act” – 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only by an electronic sign that tells them their toll has been paid, but not the amount that has been automatically withdrawn from their account.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 when they’re being charged, plain and simple.”

Under the measure (S-1434), also sponsored by Sen. Joseph Pennacchio (R-Morris), the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the South Jersey Transportation Authority would be required, during their next scheduled equipment upgrades, to ensure the lighted signs that tell drivers that their E-ZPass has been read also include 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 passed 36-0 and now heads to the Assembly for further consideration.

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