If you drive the major highways anywhere in the United States, you are certainly aware of toll highways. Tolls not only increase the cost of passenger car trips but also impact the freight cost to transport products by truck throughout the United States. The toll money collected from toll payments helps pay for road maintenance, rest areas, grass mowing, road salting and snow removal (in the northern states). States are rapidly investing in toll booth modernization and the implementation of cashless toll booths, E-Z Pass technology and license plate photos are all ways to reduce toll collection costs and increase the flow of traffic for all vehicles.
Each state has their unique method of charging tolls. Toll rates vary depending on the type and weight of vehicle, the approved state toll rates, and the type of payment you elect to utilize. Toll booths with toll collectors will be as common as pay phones in the future as states move quickly to replace the old collection system with newer technology.
The use of high- speed cameras enable tolls to be charged without the motorist stopping at the toll booth. This will prevent confusion for out of state motorists and enable traffic to keep moving without stopping. Toll cameras will capture an image of the license plate as it passes through the toll booth and the registered vehicle owner will be mailed an invoice for the toll. Toll by photo charges are always higher than the tolls charged using electronic E-Z Pass type technology. Toll invoices are mailed monthly with payment usually due in 20 days. If the toll invoice is not paid within the 20 days, late fees and additional fees will be accessed.
The use of new technology certainly will decrease toll collection costs and keep traffic flowing smoothly for motorists. Unfortunately, like almost every other product or service, we can count on highway tolls continuing to rise in the future.