Long ago, toll roads were cash only: everybody had to stop, roll down the window & chuck 40¢ into the machine.

Here in the 21st Century, toll roads still accept cash, albeit reluctantly (and the tolls are rather more than 40¢); the emphasis is on electronic payments, via dashboard transponders (which, unlike their counterparts in Europe, announce your identity to every toll plaza you pass through).

If you find yourself – accidentally, of course – in the electronic payments lane without a transponder, you have seven days to get right with the Lord pay online.

Back in September, Jake, Sam & I drove up to visit Grandpa Bob in Arlington Heights; our route included the northern half of I355 (aka the North-South Tollway). I decided to skip the tolls, and pay later on the web site.

I forgot.

It turns out the Tollway Authority isn’t very forgiving toward people who forget: today I received a Notice of Toll Violation, complete with dates, times & a photo of my license plate.

Due now, for each violation: the $1.90 toll, plus a $20 fine. I missed four tolls, for a total of $87.60.


This might be a good time to look into buying one of those transponders….

(Seems I covered the sixteen miles of I355 in thirteen minutes, for an average speed of almost 74mph. Perhaps I’ll be receiving another Notice of Violation, this time for speeding.)