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Ga. highway officials reinstate pay-it-forward tolls

Aug. 17, 2013 at 1:38 PM

ATLANTA, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- A bit of Southern gentility will return to a Georgia highway after officials reversed a decision to ban motorists from paying tolls for others, officials said.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said he's asked the private company that collects tolls along the Ga. 400 tollway to resume accepting motorists' pay-it-forward tolls, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported Saturday.

Company officials this week ordered employees of Abacus Corp., the firm charged with toll collection in Georgia, to return all the toll donations over concerns some motorists had expressed that their pay-it-forward tolls were being pocketed rather than going to the next person in line.

"Governor Deal felt it was important that we look at the toll payment policy to see if there might be a way to reinstate this long-held tradition of courtesy payments," said State Road and Tollway Authority Executive Director Christopher Tomlinson in a statement. "Working with staff, we have devised a workaround that protects cashiers from erroneous complaints, while allowing customers to pay tolls for their fellow motorists, confident that other drivers will benefit from their generosity."

Perhaps better news for motorists? The gesture will be obsolete in a few months anyway. The Ga. 400 toll barrier is scheduled to be removed in November.

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