Port Authority cop nabs toll cheat at GW Bridge

November 2, 2011 3:14:35 PM PDT
Around these parts, they're almost as certain as death and taxes. We're talking about Port Authority tolls.

Thanks, in part, to one eagle-eyed Port Authority cop, some truckers are finding it's just about as difficult to cheat on them.

"When he came thru, his plate was flipped down - was bent down. So when he went thru the lanes, it was evident he wasn't paying E-Z Pass," Port Authority Police Officer Jason Malice said.

For the second time in as many months, Officer Malice caught a toll cheat in the act.

A trucker allegedly used a gadget to make his license plate temporarily flip out of sight. Cameras at the George Washington Bridge toll booth couldn't take a photo of plate to make him pay later.

"This one was more of a high tech device. It wasn't such a crude method with wire and a pull cord inside the cab of the car," Malice said.

A toggle switch inside the truck allowed the driver to electronically control the front plate. And the rear plate was deliberately obscured by grease.

Officer Malice says the driver confessed that he'd successfully beaten the toll before.

In fact, in the last two years, toll evaders have cost the Port Authority 14 million dollars.

While the idea of getting thru without having to pay may be appealing to many drivers, the Port Authority insists there's more at stake here than just the money.

"It's a security issue. If people get these types of devices, they can use it for anything. Just not to go thru toll lanes, but also to keep us from catching them if they're doing some threat towards bridges and tunnels," Inspector Norma Hardy said.