TxDOT to forgive 90% of violation fees for motorists who pay 10% and sign up
By Peter Samuel
Texas DOT will run their violations amnesty Aug 31 thru Nov 30 under which 90% of accumulated violation penalties will be forgiven in return for paying tolls in full and 10% of penalties. Amnesty seekers will also be required to open a TxTag transponder account and to keep it in good standing for 12 months.
After the amnesty period TxDOT say they will begin court filings to collect outstanding tolls.
Then extra penalties and court costs will be added to the 100% of former penalties.
Tolls totaling $3.2m are unpaid and some $58.4m in accumulated violation penalties by some 140k motorists. These apply to three newly opened Austin area tollroads Loop 1, SH130, and SH45N as well as Loop 49 in Tyler in NE Texas. All opened within the last three years. They involve a mix of all-electronic tolling and open road tolling on the left and cash facilities off to the right, where camera images of the license plates of vehicles are used to track down motorists without a transponder.
Enforcement was not a priority during the startup.
Mark Tomlinson TxDOT Turnpike director is quoted: "We strive to provide good customer service to toll road users, but we can't ignore the financial commitments we've made to bondholders to collect these tolls. Taking a toll road is a choice. But, once you're on one, paying the toll is a matter of state law - and TxDOT is determined to collect."
NOTE: the term "amnesty" is our term. TxDOT are not calling it that. They are calling it a "toll violation recovery program" which is poor english. No one can recover a violation. They are attempting to collect on vlolation penalties or fees, not to recover them, since they have never been paid.