Photo enforcement of tolls brings inquiry

The in basket: Charles Baker of Silverdale writes, “I’ve seen a good deal written about the proposals moving along toward cameras being used to photograph license numbers of  those who don’t use the toll booth and don’t have ‘Good to Go!’ stickers.

“All I’ve read indicates the Tacoma Narrows Bridge authority feels they will have no problem looking up license numbers and billing those drivers for the toll – and problem payers can be dealt with come renewal time.

“What I have read nothing about is how well this system will work for drivers with out-of-Washington-state plates. Do visitors and those military out-of-staters get a free pass?  I doubt the other states (and countries) are setting up a ‘help Washington’ program to identify these people.  Any discussion of this issue you’ve heard?”

While I was inquiring, I asked about plates too dirty to be read, as well.

The out basket: Janet Matkin, the state’s tolls communication manager, replies, “We have reciprocal agreements with all the other states to obtain the name and address of out-of-state drivers.

“We take photos of both front and back license plates, in order to ensure we get a clear image of the majority of license plates,” she also said.

2 thoughts on “Photo enforcement of tolls brings inquiry

  1. Chuck:

    What Janet failed to tell you is that the cameras they are using at the Tacoma Narrows Bridge are vintage 2002 technology – installed and first used in 2007. I recently found out, and the DOT confirmed, that these cameras have a non-read rate of over 10%.

    Janet also failed to tell you that the cost to collect an out of state toll is usually more than the toll so how aggressive do you think they will be to spend more then they receive?

    Randy Boss

  2. What their not telling you is that the usual procedure is to send a warning letter to the non payers, (via the plate number registration),…. a few will reply and pay up – but the rest ignore the letters and no action is taken against them – in NY city approximately a third of the people using the EZ pass lanes on Bridges DO NOT pay….the “tab” is then transferred to those who follow the rules. (Politically run enterprises will always take the path of least resistance.)

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