New York State Thruway officials say the new cameras being installed for a cashless tolling system won't be used to issue tickets to speeding motorists.

State Senator Joseph Griffo raised that issue, and others, this week as New York works toward its goal of going completely cashless on all of the state's toll roads, bridges and tunnels by the end of this year.

Speaking to Keeler in the Morning on WIBX 950am on Thursday, Eric Christensen, deputy director of operations for the NYS Thruway Authority said, ''We don't issue tickets for speeding on the roadway. We have [New York] State Police Troop T...that's their job to handle speeding on the Thruway.''

''It is not on the horizon. Our interest for putting these gantries up is to collect our tolls as efficiently as possible...As long as I'm here, that will never get done,'' he said.

Christensen fielded questions on a number of NYS Thruway-related questions about the $355 million project to go no-cash, and E-Z Pass, including:

  • Why do E-Z Pass customers get a 5% discount?
  • How fast can you safely drive on and off the Thruway with cashless tolling?
  • Is information collected by cashless toll cameras given to police?
  • Can you lend an E-Z Pass to a friend, or use it in a vehicle not registered to the account?
  • Should an E-Z Pass be mounted, or is it detected by just being in the vehicle?
  • How many toll collectors are impacted by the move to cashless?
  • Why are there more gantries (70) than interchanges (52)?
  • Can your license or registration be suspended for outstanding unpaid tolls?
  • Is E-Z Pass only for paying tolls in New York?

Listen to Christensen address each of these issues on WIBX 950am in the video above.

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How many toll collectors are impacted by the change to cashless?

There are more than 1,000 full- and part-time toll collectors impacted by the move. Christensen said all were notified of the impending changeover to a cashless system some three years ago. Services offered to them has included training, in some cases paid training, to learn other skills - like obtaining a CDL license - to find other opportunities with the Thruway Authority, or other state agencies, he said.

Can your license or registration be suspended for outstanding unpaid tolls?

''We're allowed to suspend registrations in New York. For non-payments, that is one of the final mechanism's that we take. We also use collections, as well, for anyone who has not paid their toll,'' Christensen said.

Can your E-Z Pass only be used in your car?

No.

''While we don't specifically tie a license plate to an E-Z Pass tag, we tie the license plates to an E-Z Pass account...In the event that the E-Z Pass tag was not read, we can ticket a picture of the license plate and see: 'Oh, you're an E-Z Pass customer.' And we post your toll to your account. So it's a backup plan,'' Christensen said.

Can my E-Z Pass tag be used to pay tolls outside of New York?

Yes. There are 17 other states that accept E-Z Pass payment on at least some of their toll roads. Click here for a complete list.

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