3/17/2008New Hampshire: Fewer to be Arrested Over Toll Skipping Accusation
To avoid bad publicity, Portsmouth, New Hampshire will no longer automatically arrest motorists accused of skipping a 75 cent toll.
Fewer motorists will be handcuffed and hauled away to jail over toll skipping accusations in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Police Sergeant Corey MacDonald, who serves as the local prosecutor, said it would be up to the discretion of the police officer at the scene to decide whether to arrest someone over a dollar or less in unpaid tolls.
"They can continue to make arrests if an officer sees fit," MacDonald told the Portsmouth Herald newspaper. "But I'm telling them they can issue a summons instead."
In January, an innocent motorist was arrested and booked for failure to pay a single 75 cent toll -- a toll that he had actually paid. Similar errors have caused thousands to be wrongly accused of cheating by the E-ZPass toll transponder system. Still, Portsmouth will continue to impound vehicles whose registrations have been suspended over a cheating accusation.
"It came in as a concern from some of our officers that it's a pretty stiff penalty for an E-ZPass default, which can occur from the machine not reading your transponder," MacDonald told the Herald.