Texas Targeting Toll Scofflaws
October 04, 2013
The Texas Department of Transportation is notifying top toll violators and giving them a deadline to pay their overdue tolls or be included on a list the agency will publish in the next two weeks.
It says drivers owe more than $27 million in unpaid tolls and that is money that will be used to pay debt and fund operations on these roads.
The primary targets for collection are the owners of some 28,000 vehicles that have each recorded at least 100 unpaid tolls in a 12-month period. The state DOT contacting by letter, violators with the largest balances of past-due and unpaid tolls or administrative fees to arrange for payment.
Those who fail to respond to this notice will have their names posted on Texas DOT and TxTag websites and shared with the news media. TxTag is the state’s electronic toll collection system. The web listings will include the violator’s name, city and state of residence, number of unpaid tolls and total amount owed in tolls and fees.
In the past, the Texas DOT has been limited to sending repeated invoices or seeking restitution through Justice of the Peace courts. A new state law provides the agency with significantly more power to collect the unpaid tolls. In addition to publishing the list of top violators, Texas DOT also has the authority to:
- Ban vehicles from using Texas DOT toll roads with Texas Transportation Commission approval. If stopped by law enforcement, vehicles in violation of the ban can be ticketed and impounded.
- Report the habitual violators to county tax assessor-collectors to potentially block the renewal of the vehicle’s registration.
About a month ago the Illinois Tollway began publishing a similar list of those who owned back tolls that included a number of trucking operations. T
The Texas DOT has not indicated whether or not their list will contain trucks and trucking companies.