To ensure drivers are not wrongfully charged while passing through automated toll booths, Assembly members Britnee N. Timberlake, Pedro Mejia, and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson sponsor a measure to require the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) and South Jersey Transportation Authority (SJTA) to check for an existing electronic toll collection system account before sending a violation or charging administrative fees. The legislation cleared the full Assembly on Thursday, 73-0.
“Sending violation notices to drivers with accounts already in the system is a waste of taxpayer dollars in time, paper, postage, and lawyer fees,” said Assemblywoman Timberlake (D-Essex, Passaic). “The money used to create and send these notices could be spent in many more helpful ways, such as to reduce toll prices.”
The bill (A-823/S-646), authored by Assemblywoman Timberlake, would additionally require account holders to update license plate and vehicle information.
“After hearing resident complaints about unwarranted E-ZPass violation charges, it was clear that more needed to be done to protect New Jersey drivers from paying fines they do not owe,” said Assemblyman Mejia (D-Bergen, Hudson). “When notices of violation are wrongfully sent to drivers, they are then burdened with contesting the charges, which can be a tedious, costly and time-consuming task.”
“The measure would further guarantee no driver is falsely charged and the NJTA and SJTA are no longer solely relying on third-party companies to verify E-ZPass account information,” said Assemblywoman Reynolds-Jackson (D-Hunterdon, Mercer). “This improved method would be more fiscally responsible and would save taxpayer dollars.”