Turnpike coin collector complaints

by: Janna Clark Updated:

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TULSA, Okla. —

Sometimes when you’re on the turnpike and throw change into the coin collector, it doesn’t work. FOX23 Investigative Reporter Janna Clark looked into why and how those coin collectors might go away all together.

Curtis Neal is so mad about coin collectors not working that he asked if he could talk to FOX23 about it.

“It just gets aggravating. It doesn’t work so you’ll put change in there and the thing will stay red. You throw another quarter in and it’s still red and you’re going what’s the deal,” Neal said.

FOX23 talked to Jack Damrill with the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. He said most driver complaints are about the coin collectors not working.

“They throw in more and more money and the light doesn’t turn green so they do and the bells go off and they think they’re going to get a violation,” Damrill said.

Damrill said that regardless of whether the collector works, drivers should just throw in the correct amount of change.

“You’re not going to get a violation,” Damrill said.

He said there are several reasons why the machines don’t work. Some are affected by rain, pennies get stuck in them, some are too old and expensive to fix and the biggest reason is that people throw trash in them.

“We’ve seen baby diapers in there, Coke cans, you name it and we’ve seen it,” Damrill said.

He said crews try to fix those issues within 24 hours.

Neal said he is tired of it.

“We need something better or something different,” Neal said.

Damrill said the Turnpike Authority is talking about getting rid of the coin machines. The way it could work in the future is drivers without a PikePass would not stop, a camera would take a picture of your license plate and a bill will be sent.