Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Mark asks: Where I live, the bridge tolls (from NJ to PA) were increased for the first time in a few years. Like last time they went up, they went up a quarter; they went up from $1.00 to $1.25. But, there’s a catch! Unlike last time, the quarter increase only applies if you have the EZPass electronic toll transponder; if you pay cash as I always have, the toll went from $1.00 to $3.00! The toll commission obviously wants everyone to use EZPass.
My question is this: should I get the EZPass or not? I don’t like it, because it’s another tool with which to monitor you. OTOH, with all the LPRs around these days, does doing without EZPass make much of a difference anymore? If the “authorities” can read my plate everywhere I go, does skipping EZPass make that much of a difference? Now that I’m not working, I don’t need to go to Jersey. That said, there are good driving roads over there, so I still like to cross the river to have some fun. I don’t pay going in to NJ, but I have to pay to return to PA. My inclination is that, since the LPRs are everywhere and pretty much monitoring me in real time, I don’t know that doing without EZPass makes much of a difference in terms of privacy anymore. What are your thoughts?
My reply: I wouldn’t.
EZPass can be used to track your car all the time – not just mulct you for tolls. LPRs can do a similar – but not the same – thing. Your car must pass by a reader. The LPR knows you where there – but not where you’re going. It’s a small but – to me – important difference. By getting the EZPass, you are essentially putting a government tracking device in your car. Getting ready for Mulct-by-Mile, too.
Note also the Orwellian language. “EZPass.” So easy! Like the “Excelsior Pass.” So good!
I’d say: No Thanks.
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