Oklahoma turnpikes are moving to cashless toll system

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The days of rummaging through your car for change at the toll booth are now numbered here in Oklahoma.

Later this year, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority will begin a 5-year plan to transition to a cashless system.

Toll booths can be a source of frustration. From the headaches of finding the right change, to dealing with jammed coins.

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority also says they are also a major safety issue.

“We have numerous accidents at these toll plazas all the time,” said OTA spokesperson Jack Damrill. 

Starting this summer, the process begins to replace all of Oklahoma’s toll booths with a cashless, all-electric tolling system, something already in place in many other states.

“It’s a much safer operation then what we currently have,” Damrill said.

If a driver does not have a PikePass, their license plate will be scanned and an invoice will be sent to the vehicle’s owner. If it’s not paid in one month, fees will start adding up.

“Then we have actions after that if they continue to not pay that invoice,” said Damrill. 

At the Oklahoma State Capitol, a House bill aims to decide what those actions will be, including making it illegal to drive on the turnpike if the owner of the vehicle is liable for outstanding tolls.

The Kilpatrick Turnpike will be the first toll road to be converted this summer.

The rest of the multi-million dollar project will take place over a period of five years.

“In the long run, it may be tens of millions of dollars up front but in the long run, it will save you money, it will save us money and it will make the system very safe,” said Damrill. 

Representatives from the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority say the invoice fees will be higher than the coins at the toll booth.

They recommend getting a PikePass account, saying it can save drivers 20% or more.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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