E-Z Pass Hyjinks

I heard a rumor that if you drive too fast between exit plazas when using E-ZPass, they would calculate your average vehicle speed and issue a ticket. Snopes has an article where they claim this is untrue — partly on grounds that a moving violation ticket can only be issued to a driver, not to a vehicle (although apparently, red-light enforcement cameras are in use in New York State, and they would be just as illegal). A few years ago it dawned on me (if tickets are indeed issued automatically) that when we go off Daylight Savings Time, the computers might be tricked into thinking I was exceeding the speed limit during the switch. Of course, if that were indeed true, then there must have already been erroneous tickets issued, and the problem would have likely been corrected.

Regardless, I thought I'd try it myself and this past weekend I finally got out to do it. Ali came along for the ride and we got on the Thruway at Victor at around 1:55 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. We traveled west, stopping for a snack at the Ontario Service Area, then getting off 50 some-odd miles later at Pembroke at about 2:02 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. According to The Wikipedia New York State Thruway article, the distance from Victor to Pembroke is 50.73 miles.

Traveling from Exit 44 at 1:56:05 a.m. to Exit 48A at 2:01:41 a.m.

Traveling from Exit 45 at 1:56:05 a.m. to Exit 48A at 2:01:41 a.m.

Well the transaction finally came up on the E-Z Pass website and indicated that we got on at Exit 45 at 1:56:05 a.m. and left at Exit 48A at 2:01:41 a.m. That's 50.73 miles in 5 minutes 36 seconds for an average speed of 544 miles per hour. Counting all our dawdling and the actual elapsed time, our actual average speed is only 46 miles per hour.

I look forward to receiving the ticket — and presumably, the instant suspension of my license for reckless driving.

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