Toll Roads MORE dangerous than non-tolled roads.

Toll plaza's turn out to be a real killer, and this time we're not talking about your wallet.

A new Associated Press report shows how you or your family are much more likely to get into an accident at a toll plaza, than a non-tolled road.

Another report shows how accidents on a tolled road are up to 5 times as frequent compared to accidents on non-tolled road.

Brewster McCracken and others voted for Austin to go from having 0% toll road lane miles to 50%* of our lane miles to be toll roads - in just a matter of the next few years. The tolls they voted for include shifting Austin's freeways to tollways. Austin will be the first city in the country to shift freeways to tollways.

The Associated Press article shines the light on how toll roads increase accidents, throughout the United States, caused by drivers stopping at toll booth plazas with cash booths which increases rear-end collisions.

When electronic tolling is added to the hazerdous equation, as an option to cash booths, as will be the case in Austin, thanks to Mark Strama and others, the studies show accidents are increased even further.

"Toll plazas have been designed for 50 years without national design standards," Dan Walsh, an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, said Tuesday. "The need for standards is paramount," Walsh said.

As stated in the new AP Report:

"Investigators also said that traditional toll booths, where drivers pay attendants or throw money into an automatic coin machine, increase the danger of rear-end collisions because drivers must stop suddenly.

NTSB investigators said:
_49 percent of all interstate accidents in Illinois are at toll plazas, and three times as many people die in them as in accidents on the road itself.
_30 percent of all accidents on the Pennsylvania toll highway system happen at toll plazas.
_38 percent of all crashes on New Jersey toll highways are toll plaza accidents.

Introducing electronic toll collection lanes, though, can make the problem worse.

Mohamed Abdel-Aty, associate professor at Central Florida University's department of civil and environmental engineering, studied the Orlando-Orange County Expressway system in Florida.

Between January 1994 and June 1997, 31.6 percent of total crashes occurred at the 10 main toll plazas and 46.3 percent at the 38 toll booth ramps, Abdel-Aty found.

Introducing E-PASS electronic toll collection lanes beside the regular lanes increased the accident rate at the busy Holland-East Mainline Plaza, he found.

"It's the mixture of E-PASS lanes and other lanes — the confusion from nonfamiliar drivers — that's causing most of the rear-end collisions," Abdel-Aty said."

Another report, produced by Citizens Against Tolls in New Jersey, used data directly from the New Jersey Department of Transportation. That report documents how accidents on the New Jersey Parkway toll road are up to 5 times as frequent compared to accidents on a non-tolled road.

* 50%* of our lane miles will be toll roads, as stated by CAMPO's Executive Director Mike Aulick (512-974-6441) in numerous public presentations.

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