Old Pikepass units being deactivated

The Oklahoma Turnpike disabled nearly 40,000 of the outdated windshield-mounted units late last week. All will be deactivated in March, a year after the agency switched to a windshield sticker.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: January 1, 2013

Nearly 50,000 turnpike customers still have time to exchange their outdated Pikepass transponder units for windshield stickers rather than risk getting a ticket or paying more to travel on the state's 10 toll roads.

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is deactivating the transponder units of Pikepass customers who have received a fifth and final notice to switch to the stickers, which have been in place since March.

“If they have a Pikepass that's been turned off, they are subject to getting pulled over by the OHP (Oklahoma Highway Patrol),” agency spokesman Jack Damrill said Monday.

The Turnpike Authority deactivated 39,245 units Friday, he said, from the list of 85,000 Pikepass customers who had failed to make the switch. The units were disabled about a month after those customers received their fifth and final notices.

“We're finding most customers were nonresponsive to those notices because they wanted to wait until the last moment or their contact information had changed and they did not notify us,” Damrill said. “But the majority that we talked to said they were just going to wait until the last moment.”

Transponder units will continue to be deactivated through the second week of January, Damrill said. And in March, or one year after the Turnpike Authority began using windshield sticker tags, all the old transponder units will be deactivated, he said.

“Sometime around the middle of March we will turn off the old Pikepasses,” he said. “We're done sending out notices.”

The Turnpike Authority switched to windshield tags because the hard-case units are no longer being produced. It's expected the turnpike will issue about 1.4 million windshield stickers to its 593,750 Pikepass accounts.

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How to switch

• Customers with the old transponders who want to get windshield stickers can call (800) 745-3727.

• Motorists who want to become Pikepass customers should call the same number.

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