Fastrak Violations Aren’t My Fault

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FasTrak, for those that don’t know, is California’s Electronic Toll System. Basically, you can pay in advance for tolls, and your vehicle will be tracked automatically at the toll plazas. It’s nice for people who cross through toll booths often. It’s generally cheaper and you don’t have to stop to pay. FasTrak users get their own lanes. If a non-FasTrak user drives through a FasTrak-only lane, the system takes a picture of your rear license plate (front license plates aren’t required in California) and mails you a violation notice.

I’ve gotten four FasTrak violations in the last few months. The funny thing is that it wasn’t me. The vechicle pictured is a light-colored Ford, while my vehicle is a dark-colored Dodge. Also, the license plate in the picture wasn’t mine (it was off by a few digits). Lastly, when the violation occurred (May 22, 2003), I was already in Ohio.

I was kind of amused when I got the first notice (on June 9th). I wrote them a letter explaining why I shouldn’t be liable for the violation. After I got a second violation a week later and two more violations in August, it started to get annoying. In all four cases, it was the same vehicle. I also sent a letter back for each violation. Well finally, I got a response back from my first “violation”. It only took three months! The good news is that I was found to be not at fault.