12/1/2006Virginia: Toll Cameras Cost More Than They Save
Virginia toll cameras will cost more than the amount they will collect in unpaid fines.
The Virginia Department of Transportation announced yesterday that it had added a $7.6 million ticket camera system to the Dulles Toll Road to collect an extra $1.2 million a year in unpaid tolls. Because the Dulles route has one of the lowest non-payment rates in the country, and the investment would take more than six years to recoup the investment in hardware -- not counting upkeep -- in unpaid tolls.
The device, however, is not intended to merely collect unpaid tolls. The camera will record all passing cars and impose a $25 ticket (called an "administrative fee") if sensors fail to register a toll road user's E-ZPass or Smart Tag. VDOT plans to collect even larger fines from anyone with three or more photo violations and block renewal of their motor vehicle registrations.