Charity at the toll booth? Not anymore on Ga. 400 | www.myajc.com

16
Aug

Charity at the toll booth? Not anymore on Ga. 400 | www.myajc.com

Good Samaritans, take your charity someplace else. It’s no longer wanted at the Ga. 400 toll plaza.

Countless drivers over the past 20 years have “paid it forward” by donating 50 cents to pay the toll for the person behind them in line. But no more, after some good-doers began to wonder where their coins were really winding up.

Three weeks ago, toll-workers were advised by Abacus Corp., the Maryland-based contracting company that collects tolls for the state, that they could no longer accept such contributions. Since then, toll-takers have been required to return all change to the paying driver.

Rick Sanderson, 58, of Peachtree City, said he learned of the new policy last week. He said he tried to pay for the driver behind him and was informed by the cashier, “That’s not allowed anymore.”

“In what sort of world do we live?” Sanderson said. “We can’t even do a random act of kindness?”

The reason for the policy change? Some drivers complained that cashiers were stealing the change when they didn’t see their quarters bring tossed in the coin basket for the driver behind them, said Bert Brantley, deputy executive director of the State Road and Tollway Authority.

At least six driver complaints were received in the last few months. That convinced state officials that allowing their cashiers to facilitate good deeds was more trouble than it was worth. The decision to end the practice was for the protection of both drivers and toll-workers, Brantley said.

“When it’s only one complaint every once in a while, it’s not a big deal,” Brantley said. “But we had repeat incidences of customers not believing that their pay-it-forward gesture was actually making it forward.”

via Charity at the toll booth? Not anymore on Ga. 400 | www.myajc.com.

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