It happened after the charity golf tournament. Lori and Emily hitched a ride back to the City with me. We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and approach the toll plaza, but I wasn’t paying attention and ended up in a “FasTrak Only” lane—no toll collector, just a scanner looking for a FasTrak permit on my car. Oops. I zoomed through accepting the fact that several weeks later I can expect a hefty carpool violation ticket in the mail.A couple weeks later the dreaded FasTrack letter arrived. I didn’t want to know how much the fine was. I just wasn’t interested. To this date that piece of mail remains unopened. Several more weeks go by and another FasTrak envelope arrives with “Delinquent” in red ink staring at me. Did I open up this letter? Not right away. I let i t sit on my desk. Two more weeks pass—there are random notes and telpohone numbers covering both back and front of the envelope. Tonight I finally had the courage to open it up. Original fine = $40. (I was expecting something like $200+). Delinquent on top of the fine = $75. And there’s a final due date listed in bold letters, which coincidentally is TODAY!No time to be upset, I scan the letter for a URL hoping I can pay the fine online. It’s my lucky day.
- :: Bay Area FasTrak
- :: I type in the violation number and my license plate number
- :: I click on the first link and an image of my car pops up
- :: I read the instructions: Pay the fine or dispute it
Dispute is an option … Who knew? FasTrack-slackers can dispute violations online. So I write this slick draft (in Notepad), then I copy and paste it in the dispute box. I fail to see the “200 character limit” disclaimer, so my 1000+ character Aly McBeal-like argument gets truncated. I spend another hour trimming that sucker down to exactly 200 characters. This is what I submitted. Verbatim.
I seldom cross the GG Bridge, & I was not clear on Cash/FasTrak & FasTrak Only lanes. However, it was my understanding that a car w/3+ passengers is considered CARPOOL. There were 3 of us, so I thought I was OK passing through that lane. Thanks for your understanding.
When we got to the toll gates,, it was 5 minutes before start of carpool hours. Cross your fingers…