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E-ZPass is gouging some toll customers

I don't agree with Marta Mossburg's usual columns in The Sun, but on the matter of toll collection, I can't help but agree ("In toll crackdown, punishment doesn't fit the crime," Jan. 30). This is government for, by and of the people just taking advantage of ordinary folks.

What makes it so bad is that this kind of penalty fee gouging is rampant in our society. Bank fees and the stretching of speed camera laws in Baltimore City, which goes well beyond the stated goal of protecting schoolchildren, are other prime examples. Hopefully, the legislature will ask for a breakdown of E-ZPass revenues that documents of how much of the uncollected fees consist of add-on penalties and ridiculous administrative penalty charges. Government should do no harm. When government officials, elected or un-elected, put in place administrative procedures that affect the public, they need to recognize that their actions have a personal affect on ordinary Americans (the vast majority of us) as Ms. Mossburg documents.

Within the last couple of years, normal E-ZPass charges have been increased, supposedly to meet Maryland Transportation Authority operating costs. So why the need for grossly excessive administrative charges? Also, an E-ZPass system is intended to reduce the administrative cost of operating a toll system. Why didn't it?

If the system isn't working, eliminate it. Don't try to fix E-ZPass through an abusive penalty system. Such an approach undermines overall trust in government.

Joseph Coasta

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