The bane of Mankind's traveling life throughout much of history.

The picture here shows that even in the year 1800 people had to deal with them and some tried to get away without paying but were probably hanged in the public square after being caught.

Yep, they've been with us for a long time and most of us can agree they suck.

And if you've had the distinct pleasure of getting one of those "State of New Jersey Notice of Enforcement Action" letters with a bill for supposedly not paying a toll, you know tolls really suck.

Last week I opened a piece of mail to discover that I was being asked to pay a 75 cent toll that I was accused of not paying at the Toms River toll booth on the Garden State Parkway.

Plus a $50 Administrative fee.

Now, even if I was a dishonest person and wanted to get away without paying the toll, I wouldn't be so stupid as to think that Big Brother wasn't watching me very closely at every tollbooth, so I'd never knowingly avoid paying it.

There is space on the form to defend yourself, but then they let you know that the following are "Unacceptable reasons for an Inadvertent Toll Violation":

* "Failure to have proper coinage, currency or other authorized means necessary to pay the required toll"

* "Entering a dedicated E-ZPASS lane with a vehicle that is not equipped with an E-ZPASS"

* "Failure to adequately deposit the full amount of the toll in a toll collection basket"

So what's left as defense is:

* "I am an idiot and tried to pay the toll but it wouldn't take my American Express card"

* "I got into the E-ZPASS lane by accident but couldn't back out of it because the guy behind me was waving one of his fingers at me in a non-helpful way, plus he had a gun"

* "Some of the coins missed the basket because I throw like a girl".

I decided I'd just defend myself by what I remember: "I put the three quarters in the basket and I simply have no idea why it didn't register, but I honked my horn to let the toll booth person in the lane next door know something wasn't right."

As I drove away that day I remember thinking, I'm screwed.

According to some complaints online, people are convinced the system is set-up to get more money out of honest people when they have a problem with the toll through no fault of their own.

Or if it is their fault, like getting into the wrong lane or thinking they have exact change when they don't, it still punishes honest people.

Tell me your own story of a toll booth misadventure and how it turned out!

And do you think charging people with evading tolls is a money-making scheme on the part of the state?

After you stop laughing you can answer that question.



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