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Time running out for old Pikepass devices

A fourth and final notice will be sent out next month to Pikepass customers who have not switched to the new windshield tags. The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority will deactivate the old units of customers who ignore the fourth notice, officials said Monday.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: April 17, 2012

Pikepass customers who have resisted getting the new windshield sticker tags soon will find that their old units no longer work.

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority will send out a fourth — and final — notice warning customers that the old units will be deactivated. The notices will be sent out the middle of next month, Glen Branscum, director of Pikepass operations, said Monday.

About 25 percent of the Pikepass customers — or 150,000 of the Turnpike Authority's 580,000 Pikepass account holders — are refusing to turn in their old units and replace them with the windshield stickers, Branscum said. Some of the account holders are commercial ones, such as truck companies, and have dozens of vehicles. It's expected the turnpike will issue about 1.2 million windshield stickers.

Customers who already have received three notices and have not responded to any of them will receive a yellow postcard advising them that their old Pikepass units will be deactivated, he said.

People who receive the yellow deactivation postcards will have 10 days to contact the Pikepass office, Branscum said.

“If they don't contact us in 10 days, then we're going to turn off their Pikepass,” he said. “It will be turned off and the notice says that. We're trying to get their attention with the notice.”

Pikepass customers who ignore that notice will have their units deactivated, he said. The units no longer will work and motorists who would continue to drive through the Pikepass readers on the state's 10 turnpikes would face getting a fine. Fines start at $25 per instance and increase to a maximum fine of $75 per instance.

It could get even more expensive if a state trooper observes a motorist driving through a Pikepass reader without payment being registered; the motorist could be issued a ticket that has a $200 fine, Branscum said.

Tags can't be shared

The Turnpike Authority started using windshield sticker tags in March 2011. Customers were notified when they could exchange their old units for the tags at no cost. Unlike the old Pikepass units, customers are required to have a sticker tag for each vehicle; they cannot be moved from one vehicle to another. The tag stops working as soon as it is removed from a windshield.

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