Toll Passes and Speeding
Toll collection booths have come a long way over the years. Now, rather than having to stop at a toll booth each time you drive on a toll road, drivers have the option to purchase a pass that allows them to drive in toll lanes relatively uninhibited. One of the benefits of having a toll pass is it can significantly reduce congestion and travel time.
In Georgia, drivers can obtain a Peach Pass to travel the I-85 Express Lanes or any future toll highways in Georgia. A driver who purchases a Peach Pass places the small, thin electronic sticker on the windshield of his or her vehicle. Each time the driver passes a toll booth, the Peach Pass uses electronic toll-collection technology to deduct tolls from the account the driver has established with the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA). Nearly 300,000 Peach Passes were in use by the end of 2014.
Reducing Speeding Through the Use of Toll Passes
Many states across the nation use some variation on the Peach Pass and electronic toll-collection technology to collect tolls from drivers. According to USA Today, at least five of the states using some type of electronic tolling system have begun monitoring the speed of vehicles traveling through fast pass toll lanes and plazas to reduce the risk of speeding accidents.
In Maryland, drivers are required to reduce their speed to 30 miles per hour when traveling through a fast pass toll plaza. Drivers who fail to do so and are caught traveling at a speed more than 12 miles per hour above the limit will be issued a warning. Repeat offenders could face the potential suspension of a toll pass for up to 60 days.
Pennsylvania issues warnings to drivers who speed through toll lanes, but has not found the need to suspend toll lane privileges. A spokesperson from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission told USA Today that the state has the ability to send a warning letter to the customer and that has proven an effective deterrent. Virginia, West Virginia, and Rhode Island monitor speed of E-Z pass holders and issue warnings when drivers exceed speed limits going through toll plazas.
Now, not all drivers are happy their speeds are being monitored or that their toll passes are being used for any purpose other than toll collection. It is clear that reducing speed, even if it is through the use of toll passes, can save lives.
Dangers of Speeding Drivers
Any speeding driver poses a threat to others sharing the road. When drivers speed through toll lanes they are putting themselves, their passengers, and other drivers and passengers in danger. Statistics gathered by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia indicate speed-related fatalities were responsible for 18 percent of all vehicle-related deaths in our state in a recent year. On average, close to 30 percent of deaths in motor vehicle collisions in the U.S. are the result of speeding.
If toll passes can be used to draw attention to speeding and to compel drivers to slow down, it could reduce the number of speed-related deaths on highways and interstates. Georgia does not currently monitor the vehicle speed of drivers using its Peach Pass.
At all times, drivers should remain aware of posted speed limits at toll plazas and along toll roads, and follow the rules of the road by travelling at a safe speed.
If you have been injured in a speed-related accident caused by another driver along a toll road or any other stretch of highway in Georgia, contact an Atlanta speeding accident lawyer at The Millar Law Firm today.