Virginia lawmakers want to install cameras to catch truckers who avoid paying tolls
Along the 300 plus miles of I-81, there will be six toll gantries. This means about one every 50 miles. The bill provides a free pass through one gantry each way every day of the year. This means potentially up to 200 miles of travel per day without charge. For anyone who travels the interstate with any regularity at all who may not qualify for the free pass or may exceed that, they will be able to pay the one time annual fee for unlimited use. A cap of 17 cents per mile and 11 cents per mile will be placed on user fees for trucks and automobiles respectively. A truck as defined in the bill is any vehicle classified as Class 6 or higher (essentially any vehicle required to stop at weigh stations) by the Federal Highway Administration. The toll that is imposed on heavy trucks and through traffic will be reduced by half for those vehicles traveling between 9 PM and 6 AM.
Some have expressed concerns that the plan will divert heavy trucks and commuter traffic onto Route 11 or other local roads. Under this plan and the generous free use, there would be no incentive for local drivers to divert. In addition, there will be substantial improvements to make traveling the interstate easier. And there will be electronic measures to ensure that there are no incentives for heavy trucks to exit the Interstate and reenter after a toll. The bill establishes a video-monitoring system and automatic vehicle identification system to monitor and penalize trucks and vehicles who exit and re-enter Interstate 81 to avoid a toll. This will protect commuters on Route 11 and other adjoining roads from dealing with traffic and safety concerns from diversionary drivers.
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