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Truck Driver Goes High-Tech, But Is Still Busted Trying To Cheat GWB Toll

Electronic Toggle Switch For License Plate No Match For Veteran PA Officer
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The George Washington Bridge - Fort Lee, NJ - Apr 30, 2011 (credit: Evan Bindelglass / Special to WCBS 880)

The George Washington Bridge – Fort Lee, NJ – Apr 30, 2011 (credit: Evan Bindelglass / Special to WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — You may recall an incident last month when a Virginia truck driver tried to evade a $65 toll on the George Washington Bridge by rigging up a mechanism reminiscent of James Bond.

Well, it appears he may have set a trend. In fact, that guy’s approach is now antiquated

1010 WINS’ Al Jones Hears From A Hawk-Eyed Port Authority Officer

Since the higher Port Authority tolls took effect on Sept. 18, there have been 35 toll cheats that have been caught manipulating their license plate trying to cross the GWB, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.

The latest incident occurred on Tuesday when sharp-eyed, veteran Port Authority Officer Jason Malice caught driver Edgar Malin manipulating his license plate to dip down and then pop into place as he passed the toll.

The trucker installed a toggle switch on his dashboard which electronically made the license plate flip up, so the E-ZPass machine couldn’t read it. He avoided paying the $65 toll, reports CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer.

License plate toggle switch

The Port Authority said an innovative truck driver installed this electronic toggle switch to flip up his license plate so it would not be read by E-ZPass scanner on the George Washington Bridge. (Photo: CBS 2)

Malice said he “reached down, got the plate back and I see there was a mechanical device connected to the plate.”

“When the toggle switch was pushed back down, it would bring the plate back into the normal position,” Malice said. “Pretty much takes the cake on it. He really put money into this.”

“I was actually shocked. This one was more of a higher-tech device,” Malice told Kramer.

Apparently, Malin bought the device on eBay for $40.

Another driver, Greg Aaron, said it is the Port Authority that is stealing.

“You know, nobody is mentioning about the toll, they keep talking about how somebody’s covering a plate, but they’re not talking about a $65 toll for a truck,” he said.

“Now you’re starting to see some tricks, you know, that you weren’t seeing before,” Malice said.

Malin, the busted truck driver, was apparently driving with a suspended license and was given a number of summonses and eventually released.

But not everyone was feeling sorry for the truck driver.

“I think they should be looking at how much the tolls cost, obviously. For trucks, it’s $65. They have some kind of motive to do that,” said Greg Ahrens of Edgewater, N.J., told CBS 2′s Kramer. “It’s becoming cost prohibitive.”

“The toll went up. People need to pay the toll and if they’re going to protest they have to protest in a different way,” added Joan Falchetti of North Bergen, N.J.

“If you’re going to take the bridge then you have to pay,” said Rita Cohen of Fort Lee, N.J.

The message from the Port Authority is simple: whether you drive a truck or a car there is no license to cheat the toll collector.

“We will prosecute you. We will catch you. It’s not worth it to save $65 to be locked uptown in jail and have to pay penalties and fines,” Port Authority Inspector Norma Hardy said.

Innovative or infuriating?  What do you think of the latest toll cheating incident? 

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