When Kyle Blatter received a FasTrak violation notice in his mailbox, he knew it had to be a mistake. Not only did he not have a FasTrak account, he was confident he hadn’t used a FasTrak Express Lane.
Turns out, Kevin received the $25 fine due to an error in FasTrak’s camera system. He appealed the ticket online and resolved the issue within a few days.
But a week later, Kyle’s father, Kevin Blatter, received a similar violation notice. Kevin, who is a FasTrak user, was also billed by mistake. In Kevin’s case, the camera misread his license plate, mistaking the number “7” for a “1”.
For Kevin and Kyle, the violations took less than 10 minutes to appeal online. They say it was still an inconvenience for something they didn’t do. The irony of this father-son duo both receiving incorrect fines from FasTrak within a week of each other led them to believe there was more to the story. NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit started digging further.
How much time and money are Bay Area drivers spending on a system meant to relieve traffic and provide convenience? We sat down with John Goodwin, the senior public information officer for the Bay Area Toll Authority, which oversees the funds for Bay Area express lanes and bridges, to find out.
Read below for more.