If you drive a lot, like me, you see things. These things are not necessarily good, nor full of common sense.

The Massachusetts Turnpike launched electronic aerial tolls in 2016, according to Masslive.com. I-95 Hampton Tolls have been an ORT (Open Road Toll) since 2010, according to NH.gov.

I remember when New Hampshire opened the road 2 lanes each way, and you could cross at 65 mph. It was innovative and exciting not having to stop at a toll booth.

Recently, I was driving west on the Mass Turnpike, I-90, and encountered a number of slowdowns in heavier traffic. There were no accidents on either side of the freeway, so I wondered why the left and middle lanes were slowing to a stop, then speeding up again, then slowing down again to a stop. ‘Stop. It seemed like a strange circulation pattern, until I realized the cause.

Police lights at night

Alex_Schmidt via townsquaremedia lab

The traffic was unpredictable because drivers are unpredictable. It seems that when people approached the overhead gantry toll booth at every exit (there are no more toll booths on I-90), drivers would slow down, go through the gantry, then speed up again.

When the traffic is heavy, this creates a real problem. You see, drivers thought that air tolls also recorded your speed and they could get a speeding ticket.

mads enevqvist via unsplash.com

mads enevqvist via unsplash.com

This also happens every day when I drive north on I-95 through the Hampton Tolls. There are only two left lanes with the Open Toll Road (ORT) but drivers again think their speed is being monitored and could get a speeding ticket.

Here’s the deal, folks. Yes, these air tolls synchronize your speed, but not to give you a speeding ticket, but rather to make sure that the tolls work correctly at different speeds, so that people are not inadvertently charged or overcharged. It all depends on the accuracy of the billing.

Police officer writing a ticket

mood board

Here is what nh.gov said about accelerating tolls with the EZ Pass.

NHDOT is not authorized to issue speeding tickets. This is a Department of Security – NH State Police issue. If a State Trooper is monitoring the speed on the toll lanes and you exceed the speed posted on the E-ZPass way, you could receive a summons.

In Massachusetts, there are no plans to use tolls as a means of issuing speeding tickets. However, it is done in a few states in work areas, but Masslive.com says it’s with “mixed reviews”.

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So the next time you’re going through an air toll at 65 or 70 mph, don’t slow down. You won’t get a speeding ticket, but you could set off a traffic jam that won’t clear up for hours. Just drive by, please and thank you.

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