E-Z Pass helps states clock motorists’ speeds; accounts suspended for repeat offenders

Several states are using their agreement with E-Z Pass to monitor and punish speeders, adding to the increasing number of electronic speed-monitoring devices facing motorists.

Right now, three states -- Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania -- will suspend E-Z Pass privileges after multiple speeding violations, as reported first by USA Today.

And at least two of the other 12 states that allow E-Z Passes at toll plazas reportedly have rules for speeding through the designated toll lanes.

The electronic passes, or transponders, were created to be put on the inside of vehicle windshields and triggered at toll booths. Motorists prepay their accounts, instead of exchanging money with attendants and contributing to backups at toll plazas.

"You can lose your E-Z Pass privileges if you speed through E-Z Pass lanes," Dan Weiller, a New York State Thruway Authority spokesman, told the newspaper. "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."

Weiller and others cite the safety of booth attendants, an argument similar to those made by state and local governments that have over roughly the past 15 years added hundreds of speed- and red-light cameras to their streets.

However, critics continue to question the accuracy of the cameras and argue they are more about filling government coffers.

The District of Columbia, for example, collected roughly $75.7 million in fiscal 2013 from speed cameras.

In Maryland, the speed limit is 30 mph through a toll plaza, and motorists who exceed the limit by at least 12 mph twice in six months can have their EZ Pass account suspended for 60 days.

A Maryland Transportation Authority also made clear that no tickets are issued, which could impact a motorist’s driving record and insurance costs.

A Delaware official said the state doesn’t monitor speeds with the E-Z Pass system.