‘Pay it forward’ tolls outlawed on Ga. 400

Only those working on behalf of the state can legally ask for money along busy roadways. (HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM)

Only those working on behalf of the state can legally ask for money along busy roadways. (HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM)

UPDATE: The state has decided we can all be nice to each other. Jim Galloway has the scoop.

Original column follows …

Random acts of kindness have been outlawed at Ga. 400 toll booths, where the only constant is 50 cents of change.

AJC transportation writer Andria Simmons reports workers will no longer accept “pay it forward” donations.

Some drivers had been giving toll workers $1 and not waiting for their 50 cents in change. Instead, they had requested the extra 50 cents pay for the driver immediately behind them.

But some drivers complained that toll workers may have been pocketing the change. Thus, for the last three weeks, toll-takers have been required to return all change to drivers.

The Ga. 400 toll has a curious history.

The toll was supposed to end in 2011, but former Gov. Sonny Perdue extended it until 2020 so the state could make use of the $20-million-per-year collection to finance other highway projects.

Gov. Nathan Deal pledged to end the toll when he ran for office in 2010, but later claimed he couldn’t eliminate it because Perdue’s extension made that impossible.

Prior to a 2012 statewide vote on a new transportation tax, Deal decided it wasn’t that impossible after all.

Politifact Georgia wrote: “Polls showed the tax measure flagging in the polls. Twelve days before the election, Deal announced that the state would pay off the $40 million in new bonds by Dec. 1, 2013. The tollbooths would come down soon afterward.”

It didn’t help. The transportation tax was defeated by a wide margin in the Atlanta area, the only part of the state that pays tolls.

The Ga. 400 toll will end Nov. 21. The toll booths will be demolished in 2014.

35 comments Add your comment

Host versus parasite

August 16th, 2013
7:48 am

Government doesn’t believe in private charity. It undermines their reason for being. They are about stealing and giving, not voluntary giving from the heart. If people started to realize just how much theft happens courtesy of government employees, how much money is voluntarily given despite all the government theft, and how much better off our society would be if we returned to a society in which only voluntary charitable giving took care of people in need without any government force or theft, the entire government sham would collapse.


August 16th, 2013
8:16 am

Is anyone really surprised that this type of monetary theft is what happens when you put an unethical 0bama Worshiper around cash in the toll booths without extra-close supervision?

Just look at what their “god” has done to the U.S. Treasury since rising to power on the votes of the stupid.

big stan

August 16th, 2013
8:47 am

Benna, that kind of stuff has probably been going for years since that toll road has been in place and cause you see a picture of a black toll worker you wants to blame Obama this. Please get life

I love black people

August 16th, 2013
8:48 am

@Benna what ignorance!!! You need to take the sheet off your head more often. I don’t believe that these people were stealing. I’m sure there are cameras all over the place and it would be reported by the toll supervisors if they were. They said some drivers were saying it – LIARS! What are they going to do about the white woman that jumped out of her car this morning and asked me for 50 cents so she could get through the toll – holding up the line?

[...] Full Article HERE [...]


August 16th, 2013
8:53 am

It only took two posts for the President to be blamed for something. You people are funny!

John Doe

August 16th, 2013
8:57 am

Hey Benna, I like the way you think. Can you tell us more?


August 16th, 2013
9:00 am


What do you mean “you people?” Racist.


August 16th, 2013
9:08 am

Why would I want to pay for someone behind me anyway? Drivers in Georgia have gotten worse with the influx of Northerners down here.

Yeah, I know……Delta is ready when I am….

Da Troof

August 16th, 2013
9:16 am

@ I love black people

Don’t be silly.

Everyone knows it is against the law for white people to panhandle money in Fulton County.


August 16th, 2013
9:17 am

The real thieves were the politician that used monies from the 400 toll for other projects. This was NOT supposed to happen!

Faithful Obam supporter

August 16th, 2013
9:25 am

Benna, find someone else to blame your problems on. These problems existed before Obama was in Office so shut the heck up!!


August 16th, 2013
9:25 am

Drivers have complained? Is there a way we can see these complaints?


August 16th, 2013
9:27 am

Some people like Benna hate Obama so much that they will blame Obama for anything and everything regardless of the actual story. Had Benna actually read the reason, which was reports of theft from the toll takers, yesh, read the article people, its not that hard


August 16th, 2013
9:31 am

Benna, I am white and from Georgia and I voted for Obama. Does that make me unethical as well?


August 16th, 2013
9:36 am

Doesn’t Laquandra get enough of our money already through government assistance without having to steal our GA 400 change, too?????

Maybe she feels entitled to our “CHANGE” since that is exactly what her full-of-baloney leader promised her.

The Thin Guy

August 16th, 2013
9:36 am

Never been on GA 400. But would love to go just to pay the toll with 50 pennies and ask for a receipt. Although I am a right wing extremist, I feel sorry for the state workers who will lose their job just before Christmas. Maybe they can charge Santa Claus a toll when he comes down the chimney.


August 16th, 2013
9:37 am

Benna, you are so ignorant until it hurts! You make the statement ignorance is bliss a reality.

Joe P

August 16th, 2013
9:37 am

Hey tbone. It doesn’t make you unethical…it just makes you stupid.


August 16th, 2013
9:39 am

Personally, as someone who works hard for my living, I would find it extremely offensive if some arrogant do-gooder liberal presumed that I needed his or her charity.

As usual, narccissistic liberals never stop to consider whether or not someone actually wants their “random acts of kindness.” Instead, they simply assume everyone else needs their wonderful magnificence, and therefore kindly “help out” others whether others want it or not, so the liberals can “feel good” about themselves (even if that means insulting others.)

Just pay your own way, grow up, and stop assuming everyone else needs or wants you to “take care of” them.


August 16th, 2013
9:44 am

Chip, why do you have to put a political agenda on this…Since when is being nice to another person being liberal, does that make conservatives greedy or not willing to do any act of kindness. If someone offers to pay your way why not just say Thanks, but save it of the next person and pay your way.


August 16th, 2013
9:50 am

curious – how many people believe the toll will actually stop much less the booths removed?

I’ll believe it when it happens…


August 16th, 2013
9:57 am

Stop blaming President Obama for fifty cents charity at a toll booth in Georgia.

He’s playing golf on Martha’s Vineyard at your expense and doesn’t give a whoopee over your toll booth. So there!

Crazy Grocer

August 16th, 2013
10:07 am

Toll Roads bring in the $$$…..The Lawmakers know it!


August 16th, 2013
10:12 am

If the toll booth worker is caught stealing, prosecute them. If your white and voted for Obama, then you have to many screws loose.

Loose Lips

August 16th, 2013
10:57 am

@ Benna
Did you even read the entire article above?
The author points out the not one but two Republican Governors wanted to extend the GA 400 tolls as a TAX on the citizens of GA.
LOL – you would say that was a low down dirty punk Democratic move – but you don’t mention that do you.
Wow what an ignorant *&^_&6$^$$(*&7 you are.
Why not be an equal opportunity hater (oh that’s an oxymoron is it not?) UNBELIEVABLE

Loose Lips

August 16th, 2013
11:03 am

What if you voted for Obama and you were Hispanic or Asian?
You crack me up…why does everything have to be about race….
When will be live in a society where the color of a man’s skin is no more significant than the color of his eyes.

tell the truth

August 16th, 2013
11:23 am

What? Toll workers pocketing change!!!
No way………


August 16th, 2013
11:28 am

Host vs. Parasite spewed: “Government doesn’t believe in private charity”.

Really? What do you call churches’ tax-free status? Churches make everyone else pay for their fire/police services since they don’t have to pay property taxes. Sounds like private charity to me.


August 16th, 2013
11:32 am

I miss the days when you could reach in the change thing and grab a bunch of quarters that for some reason did work. LOL


August 16th, 2013
11:33 am

My question is how does a driver behind me know if someone paid their toll unless the toll worker told them. In that instance it would be dumb of the toll worker to ask for a toll that has been previously paid. Does the previous driver wait for me a few miles ahead and ask, where you charged a toll fee because I paid for you? It would be more believable for me if toll workers were complaining.


August 16th, 2013
11:39 am

Georgia…a backwards state stuck in the 1800’s.

Host versus parasite

August 16th, 2013
11:49 am

MoFaux – No, actually the GOVERNMENT makes everyone else pay the churches’ way while the church appropriately takes advantages of laws that allow them to keep their money. Property taxes (as everyone’s recent bills clearly show) go mostly for the horrible government schools. It is not the fault of churches or other tax exempt businesses that government incompetence (or calculated vote buying) has set up a system by which they do not pay for the services they actually use (fire, police, etc.). To actually have people pay for the services they use would ALSO undermine the basic principle that governments today operate under (socialism). If everyone paid for the services they actually benefited from, only parents who use the government schools would pay for them, only people who use the parks would pay for them, etc. and we all know that will never happen. Far too many love the fact that they can socialize the costs of their children’s education through the “kindness” of their neighbors and the guns of the government.

Host versus parasite

August 16th, 2013
11:49 am

Even Yahoo is covering this. You should see all the negative comments about GA and its government employees. Well deserved for sure.


August 16th, 2013
2:27 pm

Interesting. The GA 400 toll booths have been there how many years and now that they are in their final months of life and scheduled to be torn down suddenly we feel it’s important to address this with a new ruling ??? WHO CARES AT THIS POINT.

Its amazing how our politicians can’t address in a timely manner the really critical matters under their control like taxation and spending problems yet we can waste time on insignificant matters like this.