As we are bombarded with a million and one political campaign ads on postcards, commercials, “news” channels, yard signs, jar grippies, letter openers, and various other tchotchkes, Illinois Toll way Drivers everywhere are receiving emails asking for their input on this fall’s “Toll Poll.”
The Illinois Tollway's Toll Poll is simply asking whether or not IPASS transponders should beep. The question sounds simple and quick, but what are we really getting ourselves into?
Yes, it would be nice to know when my IPASS account takes a hit—especially through the open road tolling when you don’t have that little yellow or blue light system telling you that paid or not. OR, perhaps an acknowledgement beep would be nice at those smaller toll locations that I don’t necessarily drive SLOW enough to actually SEE the light change as I pass it.
All I really want to know is that I have paid my toll. If it takes a beeping IPASS to satisfy my curiosity on whether I paid a toll or not, then so be it; I am good to go with a beep option. Plain and simple.
I mean, come on, we are talking a government entity designing a new transponder to install in MY car. Yes, it will most likely continue to be strictly utilitarian and work perfectly FINE with one simple little beep. But, will the ONE beep continue to satisfy our curiosity as we drive on the Illinois Toll ways?
In my eyes, what seems to be starting as a simple, “To Beep or Not to Beep” question could become a beeping nightmare. In the land of supersizing and instant gratification, I want to know if there will be beeping limits if we do decide to allow a beeping option on transponders.
How long will it be before we start looking for more notifications (or beeps) beyond just the “paid” beep? I can hear the questions now. Can it beep when we have insufficient funds? Can it beep when our account is running low? Can it beep multiple times for multiple axles?
How about the beep itself? Will it be a quick noninvasive beep? Or will it be a long winded tinny beep so that hearing aids across Illinois can also pick up the beep? Can I customize the beeps?
When will it beep? How loud will it beep? Will it be a single beep, double beep system? Or will there be different beeps for different reasons? What happens if I hear a double beep instead of a single beep? What if I thought I heard it beep and I wasn't near a toll?
With government facilities in charge, one can only guess how deep the beep notifications will eventually go. Seriously, if we keep with the thought that a beep is meant to be a simple notification and not Morse code, I think Illinois drivers that choose a beeping option will be happy.
As we all toil over who will run our country for the next 4 years or who will or will not receive public funded pensions, this is also our time to speak up about our IPASS transponders that can beep the heck out of us daily.
Admittedly, as I struggle with my biggest fear of a never-ending beep over a low battery, I still kind of like the idea of a beep. I just wish I could vote for one beep and nothing but one beep.