Major changes are coming down the pike for Oklahoma's turnpike system as stopping to pay a toll is getting left in the rearview mirror.
“Collecting cash is an old way to collect money on turnpike systems,” Jack Damrill with the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority said.
The Kilpatrick will be the first Oklahoma turnpike to pump the brakes on pulling off and paying beginning July 25. Instead, toll booths will use overhead cameras to take a picture license plate -- and send drivers a bill in the mail.
The turnpike authority said convenience isn't the only reason for the change.
“The safety aspect is tremendous for us because we won’t have people stopping, have people getting out of their cars looking for the cash,” Damrill said.
The luxury of not stopping will, however, pave the way for higher plate-rates compared to what drivers are currently paying at the toll booth. For example, Damrill said right now traveling on the Kilpatrick from I-35 to I-40 will cost you about $3 without a pike pass. He said starting July 25, the bill in the mail will be $5.80.
“We’re going to roll out an app in the next coming year for plate-pay customers,” Damrill said. “We’re going to allow them to pay their invoice sooner for a discounted rate.”
The turnpike authority said the increased rates will offset cost of mailing invoices and processing license plate pictures.
The Bailey and Creek Turnpikes will be the next ones converted early next year. They hope to have the entire system converted in the next five years.
Damrill said all toll booth attendants will be offered employment in other rolls within the turnpike authority.