Pennsylvania drivers should keep an eye out for unfair penalty toll charges

Kristen Walters

If you drive on Pennsylvania's toll roads, you should be on the lookout for penalty toll charges or "V-tolls" even if you use an E-Z Pass.

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According to a recent report, the Pennsylvania Turnpike has allegedly been charging drivers with penalty fees for years but failing to notify them about the additional charges, which in some cases may have been unfairly added to their bill.

Pennsylvania drivers who use an E-Z Pass to travel on the state's toll roads are typically charged a lower toll for using the electronic device. However, this is not always the case.

While the E-Z Pass is supposed to be automatically detected when someone drives through a toll plaza, this technology does not always work correctly. Historically, if an E-Z Pass is not detected, the driver will be charged a higher rate, otherwise known as a "V-toll."

The difference between the E-Z Pass rate and the V-toll fee can be significant. For example, one Pennsylvania driver told local reporters that he was charged $2.90 for his initial trip and $10 for his return trip on the same stretch of the PA Turnpike because the toll plaza failed to register his E-Z Pass.

According to one recent report, approximately 430,000 drivers were charged with the higher "V-toll" rate in 2022 even though they had an E-Z Pass.

However, the fact that Pennsylvania's E-Z Pass detection system doesn't always work flawlessly isn't what is frustrating drivers the most. Instead, it's that the PA Turnpike has not been disclosing when a driver is charged a higher V-toll on their bill.

Therefore, many customers don't even know when they are being overcharged.

The Pennsylvania legislature recently introduced House Bill 2139 to address this issue. The bill has already passed in the House. If the bill is passed by the Senate, the turnpike would be required to notify drivers that they are being charged a higher V-toll rate.

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