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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 11, 2019 02:06 PM
From: Senator Kim L. Ward
To: All Senate members
Subject: Improving the Transparency of V-Tolls and Transactions on the Pennsylvania Turnpike
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation to improve the transparency of “v-tolls” and the notification of transactions for motorists traveling on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Constituents in my District and across the Commonwealth are subject to a “v-toll”, which is a flat fee of $10 charged by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (Commission). These charges are issued if an E-ZPass transponder was not detected by an electronic toll collection system because the E-ZPass transponder was not in the vehicle, the E-ZPass transponder was not properly mounted, or the E-ZPass transponder was not working.

“V-tolls” are posted to a person’s E-ZPass account without any immediate notification, leaving the person unaware of the fees. Additionally, a person must manually log-in to the E-ZPass account every time to monitor their transaction history, which may not appear instantaneously. To complicate matters even further, the Commission removed the “feedback signal” device at toll plazas (due to federal guidelines) that previously notified a person if the E-ZPass transponder worked correctly.

My legislation is threefold and will require the Commission to send notifications immediately and electronically every time an E-ZPass transponder is detected by electronic toll collection systems, extend a grace period before the Commission processes a “v-toll”, and allow the Commission to issue violation notices electronically instead of by mail.

It is time to modernize how the Commission interacts with our constituents when conducting e-commerce transactions, particularly since more “cashless tolling” locations are being installed. Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to advance the awareness of “v-tolls” and transactions to ensure hard-working taxpayers are not repeatedly overbilled on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

If you have any questions, please contact Nolan Ritchie, of my staff, at nritchie@pasen.gov.