Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wanted in New Jersey

Mr. KK calls me at work laughing.

MR. KK: "You got a weird piece of mail today."

KK: "Hustler magazine?"

MR. KK: "No. A letter from the 'Garden State Transit Law Enforcement'."

Oh, that.

The back story: When the girl and I were driving to Philly, we spent some time on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey. In case you're not familiar with that particular roadway, there's a toll every 3 feet.

I was driving, Tracey was in charge of holding up the electronic toll pass to pay. They usually split the road so that people who are paying electronically go to the left and sail through, and people who are stuck in the dark ages and still pay tolls with cash wait in line on the right.

Because we are paying electronically, there isn't an actual "toll booth" like there is on the side for cash. There's just a thin metal bar that crosses over the highway.

I'm always paranoid the electronic payment thingy won't pick up my transmitter for payment, so I start holding it up 20 feet before I get to the toll area.

Imagine a conversation like this:

KK: "I'm going to go left for the EZ Pass lane. Make sure you hold up the thing."

TRACEY: "I will. Don't worry."

KK: "Did you hold up the thing?"

TRACEY: "I will when we get to the toll."

KK: "We just went THROUGH the toll!"

TRACEY: "Where? I didn't see a toll booth!"

KK: "We don't GET a toll booth on our side."

TRACEY: "It was out, I had it in my hand."

DESI (from the backseat): "I'm sure it picked it up. I wouldn't worry about it."

Well, they didn't pick it up.

So now I got a letter telling me I not only owe them the $1.00 for the toll, but I also owe a $25 fine.

Hearing I got this letter made me laugh out loud. I mean, I paid the toll before and the toll after. Did the state of New Jersey really think I was trying to take them for a whole dollar???

KK: "Tray, you'll never guess what I got in the mail today? Practically a warrant for my arrest for not paying that toll on the Garden State!"

TRACEY: "That thing was a farce! There was no toll booth! And I had the thing in MY HAND."

KK: "They even sent a picture."

TRACEY: "Can you zoom in and see the transmitter in my hand???"

KK: "No, it's of the back of my car. A nice clear shot of my license plate."

Kinda creepy. Very big brother.

I'm totally contesting it. We DID have the transmitter out. I'm just paying the dollar. If I were avoiding tolls, I'd try and get out of the million dollar George Washington Bridge toll.

If you don't hear from me for a while, it could be because I've been captured by the state of New Jersey. I'll be forced to spent the rest of my days wearing acid washed jeans, bangle bracelets and Aqua Net.


Emily said...

Can you imagine working as the guy who sends out warrents for arrests over a toll booth incident? I mean really like there isn't enough crime thats legit, you need to waste tax payers money on that job description?

Leroy said...

hmmm....i have the SAME conversation with that deadbeat whenever we go through tolls. For whatever reason she doesn't want to hold the thing up. I thing Tray should be responsible for the fine.

FunnyGal KAT said...

You may not want New Jersey, but it appears New Jersey wants you! I always thought the pass could be read pretty much anywhere in the car. Mine came with a silver bag to put over it if you don't want it to be read. Why would that be necessary if all I had to do to avoid having it read is hold it in my hand?!? New Jersey is such a pain for so many reasons.

traceybear said...

for the record and in my defense, I was ready to hold the transponder up however, I did not know that the wire hanging over the highway was actually the reader. I was expecting and waiting for the toll booth so that i could hold up the transponder. Massachusetts I guess isn't so high tech and they have the old school toll booths that we go thru with the transponder. so it's really not my fault and for the rest of the trip I was totally ready b/c I knew what i was looking for. we did not miss another toll (that we know of!)

that's what happens when you don't have it hanging on your I do. I'll never miss a toll.