During the holiday season many of us traveled to see family and friends, and we have all had the pleasure of sitting in long lines at toll booths at some point. Since the inception of EZ-Pass, it has become much faster to pass through these tolls. As I drove through the EZ-Pass toll booth lane on the Throgs Neck Bridge Thanksgiving Day, I observed many cars in the long cash toll lane line, and it made me wonder how the EZ-Pass system worked. So I did a little research to find out how EZ-Pass tracks thousands of cars passing through toll lanes at high and low speeds. Here is some information courtesy of Carjunky .com:
When you drive through a toll lane, you are recognized by the radio beacon and the transmitter that sits behind your rear-view mirror, which will send out a signal saying that you are an authorized client who has paid. The receiving radio station at the toll plaza reads the signal sent out by your vehicle and validates it by searching through its records. If it is found acceptable, it sends out a signal that the vehicle should be allowed to pass through without stopping. Included in this signal, is your basic account information and your identification number.
It works like this:
• The EZ-Pass transponder in your vehicle will send out signals when the tollbooth is near.
• The antenna at the tollbooth will pick up the signal that is sent out by the EZ-Pass transponder in your car and checks with its database for validation of your account.
• The local area network will then pick up this signal and allow you to pass through the gate without stopping. It will then allow you to go through any lane that you desire. There are separate lanes for vehicles that have to pay cash.
The operation of the system is automatic. The system notes and records the customer identity, time and date of the drive in the plaza, and the toll charges for each vehicle. When the account balance is low, the transponder will give you a visual or audio signal to indicate low balance, which you have to replenish if you do not wish to be stuck in a line at a toll plaza.
The speed of your vehicle in the toll plaza may vary from a slow speed of 5 mph to a maximum of 55 mph. The allowable speed is different in each case. Do not think that the systems with high-speed will allow you to pass behind the vehicle that has been given a signal to pass. Video cameras will track each vehicle, and if you try to pass the toll plaza without paying, your vehicle is tracked and you will receive a notice of violation in the mail with a fine.
Have a happy and safe New Year, and, Happy Motoring.