Keeping track of speeding in E-Z Pass lanes – but not enforcing it?

Some states monitor speeding through open road tolling:

Several states, including New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania, say they monitor speeds through the fast pass toll lanes and will suspend your E-Z Pass for multiple speeding violations.

In all, five of the 15 E-Z Pass states have some kind of rules on the books for breaking the speed limit in the convenience lanes.

This makes some sense. Yet, the states don’t consistently enforce these rules. Here are two examples:

“You can lose your E-Z Pass privileges if you speed through E-Z Pass lanes,” says Dan Weiller, director of communications for the New York State Thruway Authority. “You get a couple of warnings. We don’t have the power to give a ticket, but we do have to power to revoke your E-Z Pass, which we will.”…

In Pennsylvania, a warning usually suffices for lead-footed drivers, says Carl DeFebo, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. “If a collector spots an E-Z Pass customer blasting through at a high rate of speed, they’ll get a license plate,” he says. “We do have the ability to send a warning letter to the customer, and that has proven effective. If the customer doesn’t heed the warning we have the ability to suspend their E-Z Pass privileges but we haven’t done that recently.”

My interpretation: states have had the ability to monitor speeding at these open toll lanes. Theoretically, they could even calculate the time it takes to drive between points and could track speeding on the open highway. But, widely ticketing people in these open toll lanes would be unpopular and seen as heavy-handed so they don’t crack down on everyone.

I want to know: is this strategy effective? Does the threat of a ticket (whether it is on posted signs before the tolls or is in the user agreement) actually slow people down? If this is really a safety issue, shouldn’t this be enforced consistently? It sounds like the speeding on Chicago highways that takes place among most drivers but the state won’t raise the 55 mph speed limit near Chicago.

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