Thursday, April 26, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY - The penalty for running an Oklahoma turnpike toll without the correct change is changing.
Tuesday, Governor Mary Fallin signed a new bill, changing the penalty to one flat fee.
Soon, tickets will always cost $25.00, instead of increasing each time, to $50.00 and up to $75.00.
The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority asked the legislature to make the change.
"We wanted to create more of customer interaction that would hopefully entice them to become a Pikepass customer," said Jack Damrill, a spokesperson for the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.
Damrill said the reduced fines are a gesture of goodwill towards drivers.
"We felt like our current structure, 25-50-75 was too punitive," said Damrill.
The Turnpike Authority hopes when customers call to deal with tickets they will be interested in getting a Pikepass.
"We can talk to them about becoming a customer and the advantages of using the Pikepass system," said Damrill.
Many drivers who talked to 2News say they appreciate the lower fines.
"I put the correct change in and sometimes the light doesn't turn green and I don't want a ticket for that," said driver, Tracy Hopkins.
Others say people who don't pay shouldn't get off lightly.
"I've seen people toss pennies, rocks, what have you in there and they just keep going through here like it's whatever," said driver, Jan-Michael Malcun.
But others say lowering the costs to one flat fee could it be just the thing to help the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority get more Pikepass customers.
"I've accidentally ran one and had to pay a fee on it and Pikepass is the way to go," said driver, Bill Gilbert.
The new penalty system will start on November 1st.