Toll Violations are a setback that pretty much any commercial fleet has to deal with. There are more tolling places across the United States than there ever have been, and electronic tolling has made it even more likely that a missed toll might result in a penalty. It doesn’t help that there is no uniform toll system throughout the country, which can add to confusion and make simple mistakes more possible.
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For any fleet, the likelihood of racking up toll violations is large. Even those with the most up-to-date technology and diligent drivers often struggle to completely eliminate these penalties. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to ensure that you are minimizing the number of toll violations that you receive.
Update Your Transponders
Many toll operators are eliminating cash tolling, as it is inconvenient and requires more workers on site. While this can help ease traffic at toll plazas, it means that fleet owners and drivers must be aware of all tolling systems that are in use. Research all the toll operators that you will need to work with, depending on your national footprint, and make sure to equip every truck with the corresponding transponders.
If you know certain drivers or groups only move within a specific area, then you can strategically equip them with just the particular transponders that they need. These transponders will not only save the drivers time on the road, but it will also help mitigate back-office minutiae, as transactions post automatically, eliminating the need for manual payments.
Register License Plates
You should always register your license plates with the tolling authorities through which they will be operating. Doing so allows you to collect data about dates, times, and frequency of toll transactions and violations. You can use this data to see which drivers are incurring more toll fees than they should be, as well as more efficiently plan routes for the future.
Monitor Plate Transactions
Many toll violations are sent to fleets for license plates that they no longer own – or possibly never owned in the past. Be sure to provide proof of sale for any plates that no longer belong to you, and check with the DMV to ensure that there are no incorrect plates showing up as being in your fleet.
Classify Your Trucks Correctly
Many fleets incur unnecessary charges because they have misclassified the trucks going through tolls. If you over-classify, you may be paying higher tolls than you need to, and you won’t ever know it because you don’t receive notices or violations. On the other hand, under-classifying could result in violations and more back-office work.
Toll violations are an obnoxious but inevitable part of owning a commercial fleet. The tolling system is not going away any time soon. The existence of multiple authorities with disparate rules can make it even more of a pain to deal with. Now, more than ever, it is vital to take a few extra simple steps in order to reduce the strain of tolling violations on your company’s finances.