TRENTON – The Senate approved legislation today sponsored by Senator Nicholas J. Sacco that would discourage the theft of E-Z Pass transponders by making that theft a disorderly person’s offense.
“E-Z Pass can be a dream come true for the many New Jersey drivers who pass through our toll booths every single day, but it can also be a nightmare if a thief decides to steal the transponder,” said Senator Sacco, D-Bergen and Hudson, and Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “E-Z Pass users shouldn’t have to worry that they will rack up huge charges on their credit card in the case that their car or just the transponder is stolen.”
The bill, S-379, would amend current law to add theft of a vehicle identification system transponder to the list of what constitutes a disorderly person’s offense. Conviction would carry with it a fine of at least $500 and no more than $10,000. The bill also states that if a customer reports in a timely manner the loss or theft of a transponder to the operator of the E-Z Pass system, the customer would not be liable for unauthorized charges of $50 or more incurred prior to the reporting of the loss or theft, or unauthorized charges incurred after the reporting of the loss or theft and would not be charged any fees for the stolen transponder or its replacement.
“Drivers who use the E-Z Pass system deserve certain reasonable protections, both criminal and civil, against the theft of their E-Z Pass responders. We are holding thieves more accountable for their actions and providing drivers with a safeguard against fees when transponders are illegally used,” said Senator Sacco.
The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 40-0. It now goes to the Assembly for their consideration.