Saturday, September 15, 2007

Man gets 3 days over 50 cent toll

Toll roads are a fact of life. But sometimes one has to wonder about how officials from the state enforce toll evaders -- or those who think they are paying but aren't.

One man from Massachusetts just spend three days in jail in New Hampshire because he paid with tokens even though the state phased them out earlier this year -- the state now only accepts cash or EZ-Pass. The man was offered a $150 fine instead of jail, but he took jail saying the state broke a contract by refusing to honour the tokens he bought "in good faith."

I admit the guy has some principle, but the redemption period for the tokens had been announced well in advance and he had plenty of time to cash them in, or switch to a transponder. Besides, he would have been better off with a transponder since EZ Pass is used throughout the Northeast.

On the other hand, those tokens may be worth something. Not to the state but to coin collectors. Ontario got rid of tolls on a few bridges back in the 1970s but the tokens can still be redeemed -- I think for three cents each or something like that. I think I have one or two left in my coin collection, a holdover my father has from stuff before I was born.

Maybe the next time I take the 407, I should just whack a roll or two of them at the double gantry while I pass under them. They're worth something after all, aren't they?

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