I am sure you are familiar with highway tolls and the lane demarcations directing you where to go based on your method of payment. EZ-Pass to the left, coins and cash to the right. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you end up trapped in the wrong lane for an EZ-Pass when you in fact have no EZ-Pass and therefore cannot pay the toll? Well, I just found out.
Here's what happened:
About a month ago we went to the airport to pick up my little sister. On the ride back home I was doing a great job of playing backseat (rather passenger seat) driver. While fiddling with my phone I glanced up when we were approaching the tolls. Rather than taking in the entire scenario and let Shawn drive I frantically told him to switch lanes, declaring that we were in an EZ-Pass lane and needed to move over to the left. Shawn tried to get a word in saying he was in the right lane, but I was positive we needed to switch lanes so he did. Three seconds later we were firmly between two cement barriers in an EZ-Pass lane with cars lining up behind us and no escape.
I laughed. Shawn did not. "What the heck do I do now?!" He said as he stopped the car in the middle of the toll. Cars behind us started honking. "I told you I was in the right lane in the first place. Now how the heck do I pay the stupid $1 toll?"
I still laughed, which did not help the situation. So Shawn ignored my laughter and began to slowly creep forward through the toll. As soon as we crossed some imaginary line buzzers and bells began to go off wildly. It reminded me of that scene in Coyote Ugly. Realizing then that we were drawing an ungodly amount of attention to ourselves I demanded that Shawn hammer down the gas pedal and drive off as fast as possible so we could avoid having a photo of my car taken. I was full of logic that evening. Who was I kidding, we were going slow enough that they could have taken a high resolution version before Shawn hit the gas and we retreated back to the safety of Vermont where there are NO TOLLS.
Nope. Not one. And that is why Vermonters screw up simple things like driving on turnpikes and through tunnels.
So a month went by and my fear of getting a ticket in the mail dwindled and was forgotten. I really had no idea what would happen if you drive through without paying. Maybe they give you a freebie for your first offense? Then a letter from the State of New Hampshire DOT arrived in the mail. Since I don't have any vehicles registered in the Granite State I immediately knew what it was about, the tollbooth. They had sent me a ticket after all....
However, when I opened up the letter I was surprised.
Yup, two bucks. The state of New Hampshire is actually quite nice! And I honestly don't mind paying a 100% processing fee this time. Almost fifty percent of that has to be postage. I'm pretty sure they're still losing money on the deal.
So now you know what happens when you don't pay a toll, at least the first time!