Strange Happenings at a Toll Booth

The strangest thing happened to me yesterday at a toll booth on I-95 in Maryland. After waiting in a reasonably long line of 30+ cars to pay the $2 toll, I was pleasantly surprised when I pulled up to the window and attempted to pay the cashier. She informed us that the car in front of us had paid for our toll! My boyfriend and I looked at each other in disbelief and began to wonder if this was a random act of kindness or just a simple mistake. We didn’t recognize the people in the car and they clearly did not acknowledge us when we passed them later on the highway. Now I’m wondering if this has ever happened to anyone else at a toll booth??

It’s never happened to me, but I’ve always wanted to do it for someone. However, I have the EZ Pass, so I go right through the unmanned booths and zip on my merry way.

I did this at toll booths for a while, but wasn’t ever the recipient of it. I’d just hand the toll taker double the toll and say that I’m paying for the car behind me, then drive off. Sometimes I wouldn’t even notice what car was behind me, and I didn’t ever wave or anything to the person I paid for. I just wanted to do a little something nice.

I did this to someone at a fast food drive through once. Took some explaining to get the idea across to the employee. Nobody has returned the favor to me though.

It would be kinda interesting to dress up like the Grim Reaper and do that for people. When they pull up to say thanks you could make a motion for them to follow you.

I was thinking about this just last week, if I drove, I thought I might do it as 5 days a week I pass over a toll bridge.

I had it happen when crossing bridges in the Bay Area many times. It really makes you feel good when your waved right through. In turn, I generally try to pay at least for the car behind me, depending on how much change I have on hand.

I love the idea of this. Iris, I think we should decide that it was a random act of kindness and not a mistake. Next time I take the toll road i’ll have to do this for someone!

I’ve done it a half dozen times, it’s a random act of kindness thing.

That’s pretty cool. I had a different kind of strange happening at a tollbooth once.

I was leaving a booth for a pay parking lot at the airport once and the toll booth guy hit on me. First he asked if I was his friend’s mom. (I’m in my early-30s and that matters later in this story). No, I’m not anybody’s mom. Then I thought about it for a minute and asked him how old his friend is. He said about 20, which meant that he mentally judged my age to be circa 40 or his friend’s mom looks like she had his friend when she was a teenager, I’m not sure which. I was so insulted, I drove right off without giving him my number.

Was that wrong?

[slight hijack] Crikey, Iris I know that tollbooth – why in the heck does it take so long to go through, I wonder; it seems that six months or so ago it wasn’t quite so bad…oh well, come Friday I will be taking it north and will be staying to the north of it for some time :smiley:


I have paid for the people behind me before. The first time was when I had to lead a friend from Fall’s Church, VA, to Newark, DE. She had been telling me that in all her years of going to concerts by car with a mutual friend, he never, ever, ever contributed to anything, food, fuel, tolls; he would either suddenly be broke, or be conveniently asleep, etc. I would say she’s lost a couple thousand dollars in change to this guy in the last 20 years.

So as a bit of a giggle, when I arrived first at the Susquehenna Bridge toll, I asked the lady if I could pay also for the black jeep behind me, and she said, of course. I pulled ahead only a little so my friend wouldn’t lose me (it was after midnight), and I had to laugh, as she sat there and was clearly puzzled that the lady wouldn’t take her money – the lady didn’t know we were together.

I did all of the tolls after that, the Tunnel, and then Maryland…I suppose it’s cos she’s such a kind person, and it seems as if she gives and gives, but rarely gets back…

I’ve discovered that other drivers tend to be really nice to me when I’m in the wee Mini, allowing me to squeeze in when traffic is tricky, so when it comes down to a toll like that, and I can, I’ll pay…

The strangest thing I had happen at a toll was the Susquehenna around 1am coming back from Baltimore, where I sat and talked to the tollbooth attendent for about 15 minutes because she wanted to ask about the Mini (no worries, there wasn’t anyone else around).

Dogzilla The boy may have misjudged your age, but he may not have thoght you looked ‘old’ – it’s poss his friend’s mum looked quite young for her age. So he may have been uncertain if you were 30, or a 40 who looked 30, like his mum’s friend.

I had someone do this for me once. Felt so good, I decided to repay the favor. Every once in a while, I’ll pay for the person behind me. It can change your entire outlook for the day.

I have never had this happen to me, but occasionally will perform such a random act.

Whenever I’m standing in line at the checkout and spot someone behind me in a military uniform, I get nosey and ask if they are coming/going/on leave. I then motion them to go ahead of me. When they ask about this kindness, I just tell them they have more important things to do while home than standing in line.

What amazes me are those other civilians in line who get annoyed by this.

When I worked at Tim’s I had people do that as they went through drive thru. Went only 2 people at the max but I thought it was pretty nice. It’s always interesting to see people’s reactions as you hand them their order and tell them to forget the money.

This has never happened to me, unfortunately.
But there was that year when I lived and worked in Houston, and the woman I carpooled with would stop at the booth, open her door, and dive onto the ground to retrieve change that was dropped from the vehicles in front of her. Oy!

I’ve never had this happen to me. I’ve never done it. Of course, I’ve never driven through a tollbooth.

However, I remember reading about it in one of Penn & Teller’s books. Maybe they inspired it the time it happened to you.

Yes, it’s happened to me, and I’ve often paid for the people behind me. Really does brighten up your day.

I did this for a neighbor who was behind me at the local McDonald’s. Drove her nuts until she figured out who did it for her, which was the general idea. :wink:

I have never heard of something like this. I LOVE it! I am definately going to do it to someone at the next toll booth!