E-ZPass users in New Jersey are one step closer to hopefully avoiding bogus toll violations that carry a hefty fine.

The Assembly Transportation Committee advanced a bill that would force the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to cross-check every single violation with their data base of E-ZPass users.

If you are found to have a valid E-ZPass account in good standing, you would be billed the cost of the toll, but be spared a bill in the mail with a $50 administrative fee.

The bill would cover the Turnpike, as well as the Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway. It would not cover out of state toll violations.

Turnpike officials have claimed they routinely do cross-check violations with their E-ZPass database, but Sen. Declan O'Scanlon (R-Monmouth) says that's a lie.

This bill would force the issue.

"Whatever the expense is sending out these ridiculous, unwarranted notifications, it should stop," O'Scanlon said, "Come into the modern world. Have your computer systems cross-check each other."

O'Scanlon says that while the point is not for New Jerseyans to drive around without their registered transponders, they should not be penalized if they happen to forget the device on occasion, or if it malfunctions.

A vote in the full Assembly is expected as early as next week.

The bill would then go to Gov. Phil Murphy. It is not clear if he would sign it.

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at eric.scott@townsquaremedia.com

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