Rude Toll Collectors Drive Legislators Mad in NJ

By Brian Thompson
|  Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010  |  Updated 5:00 PM EDT
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Rude Toll Collectors Drive Legislators Mad in NJ

WCAU

The Jersey T-Pike

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The release of some 550 complaints of rude toll takers has wheels spinning in New Jersey.

In one case, a woman claimed the toll collector was using their short time together as a version of speed dating. According to the complaint, he "asked her out on a date while waiting for her receipt," and she felt "threatened."

Then there was the offer to flash a sleepy woman, and in other cases, middle fingers or thrown coins.

If you don't use EZ-Pass, as most motorists do, you're stuck in the human lane.

"Most of them are pretty rude," said motorist Michael Haroun of Marlboro, complaining about the toll takers he encounters.

Lawmakers aren't happy either.

“Turnpike Authority workers are ambassadors for our state and we need to be sure they're all properly trained and prepared for appropriate customer service," wrote Assemblymen John Wisniewski(D-Middlesex) and Paul Moriarty(D-Gloucester/Camden), Chairmen, respectively, of the Transportation and Consumer Affairs Committees.

The two legislators are soliciting complaints via email to AsmDemOffice@njleg.org in preparation for possible hearings.

But while the complaints uncovered by thesmokinggun.com seem offensive, out of millions of human transactions, there aren't that many.

Tollroadnews.com calculated there are nearly 500,000 cash transactions every day on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway. With roughly 550 complaints filed over a year and a half, that works out to about one complaint per 330,000 transactions.

Turnpike spokesman Joe Orlando, in an email, said nonetheless the Authority encourages legitimate complaints.

"In nearly every situation where motorists make a formal complaint about the behavior of any of our employees the end result is a reprimand, suspension, and in some cases termination depending on the specific factors," Orlando stated.

But referring to those tens of millions of human transactions every year, Orlando added, "the majority of our employees are courteous and conscientious which makes us eager to go after problems when they arise."

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