NY lawmakers working on ‘new and improved’ toll protection measure

Regional News

State lawmakers are set to make another run at protecting drivers from the perils of cashless tolls. Sponsors say it will be a new and improved version of a measure that Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed last year.

Depending on who you ask, Western New York drivers can tell you cashless tolls have been a blessing and a curse since they were installed on Grand Island, last year.

For most drivers, the relief from stopping at the toll barriers to come up with the cash has been a blessing, but for others, trying to fix discrepancies stemming from the cashless toll’s technology can be horrifying. 

State Assemblyman Robin Schimminger co-sponsored the “Toll Payer Protection Act” last year because of the complaints he was getting from his constituents.

“The company that administers these cashless tolls has had, so far, a poor track record for getting it exactly right.”

The Town of Tonawanda Democrat said the measure if the governor had signed it, would have provided toll payers their day in court when mistakes are made. Right now drivers are only afforded an internal complaint process within the State Thruway Authority.

When Gov. Cuomo vetoed the previous legislation, after it passed in both the Assembly and the Senate by wide margins, he claimed it would make it easier to evade tolls altogether, which is a problem with New York’s toll authorities.

Schimminger, who plans to attach his name to the new measure, believes it would address the governor’s concerns.

“Tolls would still be owed, but notification so that people can make a more prompt payment, without incurring the tolls that keep increasing.”

The principal driver of the Toll Payer Protection Act has been Downstate Assemblyman Tom Abananti, and top aide in Abananti’s Albany office told News 4 they expect to be “clocking it in” any day now.

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