In this story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper, reporter Tom Breckenridge lays out a well-planned Ohio Turnpike toll-evasion scenario:
A trucker taking a ticket at the turnpike’s entry near Indiana would travel across Ohio, only to claim the ticket was lost when he hit the last turnpike interchange before Pennsylvania.
The trucker would pay $44 for the “lost” ticket, the same fare he’d pay even if he turned the ticket in.
After delivering his load to the east, the trucker would head back on the Ohio Turnpike.
But instead of crossing the state and paying another $44, the trucker would leave the turnpike several exits before the Indiana border and feed the “lost” ticket to an automated fare machine.
The toll tickets don’t designate east or west travel. So to the machine, the trucker had traveled only a short distance from the Indiana border and would pay, depending on the exit, a toll less than $10, turnpike officials said.
If you were thinking of trying it, don’t. Turnpike officials changed up the way they charge to ensure anyone whose ticket showed “many hours” worth of time while traveling only a few exits would pay full cross-state price.
Furthermore, what’s with the focus on truckers? As one commenter to the story, calling himself “Truckinpro,” noted, “It’s not truckers who will do anything to save a dollar — some PEOPLE will do anything to save a dollar. I don’t know how someone would even believe so strongly that they could get away with this that they would take the risk of trying it. I hadn’t heard of this until now.”
I think I know the reason for the focus on haulers. Here’s a hint: It’s green, the world revolves around it, and the Ohio Turnpike, well, I guess you could say it gets too much of it from five-axle users.
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.