ENP_4583As The Toll Roads work toward the May removal of cash toll collection on State Routes 73, 133, 241 and 261, proven state-of-the-art tolling equipment is being installed at every tolling location on the 51 miles of roadway.  The equipment supports FasTrak and the three new ExpressAccount payment types introduced in January.

So far, this equipment has been installed at the Irvine Ranch (SR 261), Tomato Springs (SR 241), Orange Grove (SR 133) and Catalina View (SR 73) Mainline Toll Plazas.  Drivers will notice that the lights on the overhead gantries at the tolling points have changed.  Because the ExpressAccount types use license plate numbers – instead of FasTrak transponders – to collect tolls, each vehicle’s front and back license plate must now be illuminated so that a photo can be taken of each.

Formerly, only black and white photos were taken of license plates using infrared lighting to identify vehicles that did not pay the toll.  Now, color images with a greater level of detail are required.   These photos ensure that the correct license plate is linked to the corresponding ExpressAccount.  Changes to California’s standard license plate also made it necessary to begin taking color photos. 

ENP_4750The lights are the same type used on police cars, ambulances and fire trucks around the country as they share the roadway with other drivers.   At The Toll Roads’ tolling locations, the light produces a safe, momentary 200 microsecond flash.  

Over the last seven years, these lights have been installed in more than 500 toll lanes nationwide to support license plate tolling.  Again, we understand that it is not uncommon for motorists to notice the lights when they are first installed, but experience shows that within a couple of weeks of installation drivers grow accustomed to them.

7 thoughts

  1. So how will you handle the continued problem of people who don’t have permanent plates and choose not to pay tolls? That means those of us who do pay must make up the shortage.

    1. Hi Lee, although we understand there are circumstances when it cannot be avoided for short periods of time (like when purchasing a new car), we do not support the operation of a vehicle on our roads without a license plate. We continue to support the adoption of public policies that serve to shorten or eliminate these periods altogether and we continue to work with car dealers and the DMV to establish new requirements for the visible identification of ALL vehicles and their registered owners at all times. Stay tuned for updates.

  2. What would be helpful is greater detail for those of using this system so that we know where we can enter, drive, and exit, and not have to stop to pay cash. This along with all other notifications is ambiguous. What about the non-staffed, cash entrances and exits? Post a map!

  3. I drive the 241 every day and having these strobe lights flash in my face is extremely distracting. It has been a few weeks and I am still not used to these lights. I am pretty sure I will always be distracted by these strobe lights. I really feel like these flashing lights will be the cause of a serious accident in the near future.

  4. I drove the 261, 241 and 133 over the weekend and have my transponder in the car (which beeped at the toll plazas). I also had the lights flash – so am I only being charged based on my transponder at this time? Will I need to do something to switch to the new method in May or will it be automatic? The lights are distracting at night, as you don’t only see the flash for your own car but for any other cars that cross the toll plaza in your line of sight. Depending on traffic that can be a lot of flashing lights.

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