Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Monday, November 20, 2006
When I visit my parent's in Western Pennsyltucky, I have to go one exit on the infamous PA Turnpike from Breezewood to Bedford. For years, if you only go one exit - the toll is free.

Not so last time. It now costs $1.25!! Big Whoop.

Broadsheet didn't realize this, and was behind a big 'ol 18 wheeler, and accidentally zipped through the EZ Pass Lane where they promptly took a photo of my tag, and sent me a violation notice with a fine of $55.00. THAT's a Big Whoop!

I wrote back and explained that I only went one exit and included the toll ticket that I had miraculously left in my car console as proof.

I got a nice letter back saying - tough luck. The fare was now $1.25. Pay up or else, but since I had included the ticket, I only had to pay face value.

Today, my checking account shows Check #2695 cashed in the amount of $1.25.

Let's do the math.....

Cost of mailing me a fine = $.39 + paper and handling for a form letter = Let's say $1.00
Cost of me returning with a letter = $.39 + my time and paper = Let's say $10 for 10 minutes of my time.
Cost of them responding again = $.39 + individualized letter = Let's say $4 (it's PennDOT - they don't make much)
Cost of me mailing them a check for $1.25 = $1.25 with another $5 worth of time.

All that for a $1.25. And I wonder why PA roads are so bad?? I love bureaucracy.
posted by Broadsheet @ 2:52 PM  
10 Editorial Opinions:
  • At November 20, 2006, Blogger jwer said…

    Well, sure, but:

    a) they don't have to pay for your time, which is half the $20 you cite, and

    b) the cost of sending out a ticket to someone a little self-righteous (ahem) would be that original dollar, with a $50+ dollar profit.

    If only they would use the money for something worthwhile, like tarring and feathering Santorum...

  • At November 20, 2006, Blogger Charissa said…

    I've been driving that way (70 W to Breezewood, then 76W to Ohio) for almost 5 years... I HATE that drive. I had no idea that one exit was free. Not that it would have mattered to me - I spend almost $8 in tolls one way - but still, cool factoid. :)

  • At November 20, 2006, Blogger jwer said…

    I meant "a little LESS self-righteous", obviously... meanwhile, what is it with you and tickets? Sheesh...

  • At November 21, 2006, Blogger Broadsheet said…

    Jwer: Thanks for the clarification - I think. You mean that I seem to hang on to tickets forever, or that I get them? I've only had 2 speeding tix in my entire life. As for parking in the city does have its problems. I average about 2 a year of those.

  • At November 21, 2006, Blogger jwer said…

    Hee. I was actually talking less about the number and more about the semi-ridiculous circumstances in which you get them... and I only knew about the two you posted about, so there's that.

    If it makes you feel any better, I got a $300 ticket at the Carlisle Barracks last year because I hadn't put my new insurance card in the glove box in the first week in which the old one had expired (the court threw it out because they agreed that it was risible). And I've also gotten two parking tickets in my own neighborhood, one for parking "too close to the corner" which is a giant radius turn that everyone always parks on, and one for "blocking the unmarked crosswalk" which I ALMOST went to court for, just so I could get myself arrested...

  • At November 21, 2006, Anonymous Rob Carlson said…

    Why not just get an EZPass?

  • At November 21, 2006, Blogger Broadsheet said…

    Jwer: Carlisle Barracks? I went to a wedding there once, and we were almost turned away because someone in the car didn't bring enough ID.

    Rob: An EZ Pass for a trip I take 3 times a year?? I don't drive long distance much. I take Amtrack on the Eastern Seaboard or fly Southwest.

  • At November 21, 2006, Blogger jwer said…

    Yeah, I was visiting a friend of mine who was there for class; now he's at Leavenworth for class... I don't know if that's better or worse.

    I would've been fine, anyway, except that the dipshit security guard who inspected my car (and did not catch my expired insurance card) neglected to tell me how to proceed to the base, so I went in the wrong way and had to deal with John Wayne the Security Drone, despite the fact that my friend (a Major) came out and vouched for me. Homeland Security, indeed.

  • At November 21, 2006, Blogger Summer said…

    I use my EZ Pass inside Baltimore! But then I take the tunnels a lot. The commuter plan rocks! I pay 40 cents per trip through either tunnel rather than the $2. Keeps me out of downtown.

    It doesn't hurt to have an EZ Pass, even for occasional use. Put $20 on your account and leave it alone. When you need it, you have it.

  • At November 21, 2006, Anonymous Butch said…

    Thanks for the warning. You're wanted in PA and I'm wanted in OH. Here is some more turnpike driving wisdom. Never try to get on the Ohio turnpike at exit 234 (Youngstown, I-680) and go West. It is a one way entrance going East! I found this out the hard way. Like you, I only needed to go one exit. I thought I was safe after I made an illegal U-turn without being caught, but when I handed in my ticket they asked me for the full fair and told me I was lucky that I didn't get caught making an illegal U-turn! I guess $8.30 is better than getting an $83.00 ticket from the State Police.

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