Eighty per cent of vehicles crossing the tolled Port Mann Bridge are automatically detected via windshield decals instead of using licence plate cameras.

TReO dangles more freebies to unsigned Port Mann drivers

Rebate offered for those who ring up processing fee at toll bridge

Drivers who cross the new Port Mann Bridge and still haven’t signed on to the TReO electronic tolling system are being offered another round of incentives to register.

More than 750,000 drivers already signed on to TReO by the end of February, when an offer of half price tolls for the rest of the year expired.

Those who didn’t register by then must pay their $3 full price tolls quickly or else they get hit with an extra fee.

A $2.30 licence plate processing fee waived for the first three months is now being added to what unregistered drivers must pay if they fail to pay a toll within a week of crossing.

But holdouts who sign up by the end of June will get a rebate of any processing fees they rang up in the previous 30 days turned into a future credit on their account. New registrants also get a credit for two free trips.

The processing fee is to recoup the costs of contacting ICBC to confirm the driver’s postal address and then mail the invoice.

“Our hope is that no one is charged that fee either because they’re registered or they’re taking advantage of the payment methods we have,” Transportation Investment Corp. spokesman Max Logan said.

He said TReO registrants now make up more than 80 per cent of bridge users – much better than the typical 70 per cent for new electronic toll bridges.

“We’re very pleased with that result,” he said, but added they wanted to offer another carrot to people who may be new arrivals in the region or just got a driver’s licence.

Bridge operators want as many users as possible to be detected via windsheld decals – a more reliable system than the licence plate cameras – and to have automatic payment set up.

“Having that many people signed up contributes to the efficiency and overall accuracy of the system.”

Logan said he’s not concerned that some drivers may try to foil the licence plate cameras and avoid paying to cross the Port Mann.

“The cameras are very sophisticated, they’re high-powered and they use infrared as well,” he said. “They can read licence plates whether threy’re dirty or covered.”

Any attempt to obscure a licence plate can also result in a ticket for toll evaders who are caught by the RCMP.

“If your licence plate is obscured, it is an offence,” said RCMP Cpl. Robert McDonald.

Meanwhile, time is running out for drivers who signed up early and got a credit for 20 free trips to use them. Anything left of that $30 value is wiped off all accounts at the end of May.