Friday, July 15, 2011

BUSTED -- Illinois Tollway Big Brother Violation Enforcement Camera System

People who know me know that generally I am a law abiding citizen. But, like most people, sometimes I run a little astray -- not usually by any particular intent, you understand. Sometimes things just happen. Like on the Illinois Tollway.

Now (as I am sure that Ken Prevo is already starting to chuckle) in case you do not know, Illinois has a rich history regarding its tollways. I remember my dad telling me that the tolls were to pay for construction of the roads, and once the roads were all paid for they would become free roads. Ha! I live in Illinois, dammit -- I know better. I seem to remember that the roads were paid for years ago, but then our wonderful legislators decided that the tolls would continue and would be used for highway maintenance. Of course, then additional tollways were built.

Living outside the metropolitan Chicago area, my travel on tollways has been infrequent. However, the most recently built tollway now provides a better means to get to my mother's house, so I have used the tollways more frequently. The typical method to pay tolls for people who frequently use the tollways is to use an I-PASS, a transponder you place in your car which automatically deducts the cost of the tolls as you pass through the toll stations. For people like me who pay cash, we get the honor of having to stop and pay double the amount of the toll.

My point in this post: I have driven through the toll station with no I-PASS and without paying three times in the past 15 months, usually because of carelessness on my part or relative unfamiliarity with where I was driving. The toll stations are equipped with cameras that proportedly take a picture of your license plate when you go through without paying. I can verify today that the cameras work!

I received a letter from the Illinois Tollway a few days ago. All three violations had been caught on camera and I was fined for each instance. Yes, I will pay my fines, lowering my state's debt to somewhere in the $121,599,577,000 range. But somehow the idea of getting caught on camera and receiving notice months or even more than a years later just doesn't seem to sit right with me. Maybe we ought to focus those cameras on the legislators who have driven the state into that debt of $121,599,585,000 (the debt went up $8000 between sentences).

Time to finally get an I-PASS, I imagine.

Enjoy your weekend!


Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Why you criminal you!

10:29 AM  
Anonymous KenP said...

I am tired of kicking a dieing whatever so I'll pass on Illinois.

I'll just kick you for claiming to be an upright citizen of said state.

You played online Poker!
You sinner you!!!

Get thee hence Satan.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous KenP said...

P.S. You are probably money ahead.

Had you used the byways, you'd have likely been viewed on dozens of red light cameras and they carry a really nasty fine. And, they operate on milliseconds to judge the sinners. Even if you manage your teenage response ability and slam to a stop, it just means you'll get tail-ended by a lesser athlete. See, it also helped avoid an insurance rate increase.

It a brave new world, laddie boy.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Lucki Duck said...

$121 billion debt. Washington's is increasing $11 billion A DAY! Call me when you're in the big leagues.

Ms. Duck has picked up a couple of "notices" from various toll roads in Dallas, Houston, and Austin. She's an equal opportunity offender!

2:46 PM  
Blogger Josie said...

You sneaky ba$tard! They caught up to you.

2:57 PM  

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