I ain’t gonna pay no toll!

The Kansas Turnpike has introduced “open road tolling” recently. This allows drivers with an electronic collection device in their vehicle to drive through a dedicated lane without having to slow down.

This was introduced in Oklahoma a long time ago. However, this was at a time when Kansas toll tags were not operational in Oklahoma and vice versa, meaning you had to have a separate tag for each state. Fortunately, Oklahoma’s tags in those days were like Kansas, where they were attached to the windshield by velcro, meaning you could change them as you crossed the state lines.

About six years ago, Oklahoma eliminated the hard case tags and went to a sticker which could not be removed once it was mounted. Fortunately, I did not have any trips to Oklahoma in that time, and by time I went back through the state–on the trip to Louisiana in April–the Kansas and Oklahoma tags were able to be used in the other state.

The first open road lanes on the Kansas Turnpike were opened early this year at the eastern terminal near Bonner Springs. It has been quite convenient, since the toll plaza often backs up, especially if there is heavy traffic heading towards Kansas City.

I discovered today that the open road tolling lanes have been installed on I-70 at the east end of Topeka.

Sadly, the biggest problem of open road tolling propped up today.

A truck from Illinois flew through the open road lane without a tag. I knew he didn’t have a tag because there was nothing affixed to his windshield under the mirror.

I wanted to contact the Highway Patrol and report the truck, but I didn’t.

Some jurisdictions have completely eliminated toll booths and toll takers at some interchanges, instead instituting a toll-by-plate program for those who do not have a tag. To my knowledge, this hasn’t been implemented in Kansas, or why else would there be toll booths and attendants at the locations with open road tolling?

It reminds me of a line from the C.W. McCall Classic “Convoy”: “we just ain’t gonna pay no toll!” The truck looked like it was in a hurry to get somewhere and I lost track of it past Lawrence.

Other than that, no trouble driving to Kansas City. I stopped in Salina to get a haircut. Ashley at Sport Clips cropped me really close. Tomorrow is my next back treatment in Prairie Village with Andrea. Now I know what to expect.

As for the rest of the day I’m debating. I am just not into trivia as much as I have been in the past. Nor am I really hankering for barbecue.

About David

I am a sportswriter for a group of weekly newspapers in small towns across northern Kansas. I grew up in New Orleans, went to college at LSU and wandered in the wilderness until Hurricane Katrina finally put me on the path to my current job.

Posted on August 1, 2018, in Travel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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