Date: Apr 30, 2001
Press Release Number: 70-2001
Motorists who repeatedly speed through E-ZPass lanes at the Port Authority’s bridges and tunnels will soon find themselves relegated to the slower cash lanes.
Beginning tomorrow, May 1, E-ZPass customers found traveling at excessive speeds through E-ZPass lanes will be sent warning letters notifying them that their E-ZPass account will be suspended if they don’t slow down. The posted speed limit in E-ZPass lanes is 5 mph.
After August 1, motorists who disregard the warnings will have their E-ZPass account suspended for the following specified periods of time.
· First offense: warning only.
· Second offense within six-month period: loss of E-ZPass for 60 days.
· Third offense within six-month period: loss of E-ZPass for 180 days.
· Fourth offense within six-month period: loss of E-ZPass for one year.
Motorists will start off with a clean slate if they don’t speed for six months after their last infraction.
Ken Philmus, the Port Authority’s Director of Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals, said the agency’s biggest concern is making sure that E-ZPass customers can safely merge with cash-paying customers – who must come to a complete stop – after exiting the toll lanes.
“We want our customers to save time and money by using E-ZPass, but we also have an obligation to ensure the safety of all of our customers, our toll collectors and other employees who work at our bistate crossings, ” Mr. Philmus said. The agency operates the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the George Washington, Bayonne and Goethals bridges and the Outerbridge Crossing.
The E-ZPass technology set up in each of the Port Authority’s 74 toll lanes tracks the speeds of vehicles traveling through them. That data is then sent via computer to the New York Customer Service Center, which will administer the program.
Mr. Philmus said E-ZPass technology will not be used to issue speeding tickets to drivers.
“Drivers cannot be ticketed unless police observe a traffic violation,” Mr. Philmus said. “Port Authority police will continue to be stationed at our tunnels and bridges, and will be looking out for any motorist who violates traffic laws. Once again, safety is our objective.”