New system to keep closer watch on drivers at toll plazas
By Shannon Pettypiece
A new toll-road monitoring system that will make it harder for drivers to cheat at plazas and provide more timely information on road usage is scheduled to go online "within a week or two," says Darryl Sharpton, chairman of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority.
The system will photograph vehicles that go through SunPass lanes without paying and relay vehicle information to the court clerk to issue warnings or tickets. Mr. Sharpton said non-paying drivers on toll roads costs thousands of dollars.
The system also will give the authority more accurate and current data on expressway traffic so officials can address problems quicker.
The system is part of a larger plan for the next five years to reduce congestion on toll roads by converting manual collection plazas to automated ones.
"We want you to be able to go through the toll booths at more than 25 miles per hour," Mr. Sharpton said. "What you are seeing now with the SunPass lanes and widening of toll booths is that a lot of traffic is going through at 40 miles per hour and higher in SunPass lanes, where the real technology is kicking in."
Former chairman Allen Harper said the authority has been working with the Florida Department of Transportation to make sure current authority projects can be eventually connected to the rest of the state's expressway system.
The authority is working with the county on improvements to State Road 836 and with the state transportation department on the construction of a new bridge near the turnpike, Mr. Harper said.