The North Texas Tollway Authority wants to make sure it can help pay for roads without raising taxes. The whole point of a toll is to charge those that actually use the road, but with devices that let people fly through tolls without tossing in change, some are racking up quite a bill for not having the appropriate tag.
Releasing a list of individuals who have 100 or more outstanding toll transactions, the authority's "Top Toll Violators" list exposes those who aren't paying up and also serves to let them know they could be subject to collection lawsuits or other law enforcement.
There are 22 people on the list of top violators who owe more than $100,000. At the top of the list is Amber Young who has racked up $179,596.43 in charges and fines from 8,366 transactions. Also on the list, as noted by the Dallas Observer, is the author of a book that spurred a short-lived ABC series "GCB" -- stands for Good Christian B****** -- Kim Gatlin. Here's more from the Observer on that find:
Maybe she was distraught over the cancellation of the show and the slow ebb of her fame and could cope with the sorrow only by hitting the open road. And maybe, on 1,378 occasions, she mistook the Dallas North Tollway for said open road and maybe just forgot she owed $16,123.39 in tolls and fees. But that was mere speculation.
"I had no idea," she told me when I gave her the figures yesterday over the phone. She had returned my message only a few minutes after I left it and said she was already on her way to NTTA's headquarters to figure out what had happened. "I would have never expected to see my name in something like this."
About two years ago, Gatlin sold her white Lexus SUV to a friend, keeping the registration in her name while the friend paid in installments. And, as Gatlin said she realized yesterday, she had also left her toll tag in the car, never expecting that the friend would take the tollway so often.
Watch this WFAA news report on the new list, which had a reporter try to track down some of the top violators:
According to the WFAA report, if people with extraordinarily high bills like Young come to the NTTA wishing to pay, they will work with customers on a payment plan to make things more feasible.
In total, 25,000 people owe $12.5 million. According to NTTA's announcement of the list, the authority has a pay-by-mail system that issues drivers bills when they go through tolls without a "TollTag." The tolls have cameras to capture license plate numbers of these tag-less vehicles. There is an added penalty though for not having a TollTag. The rate issued by a bill in the mail is 50 percent more than the TollTage rate. Additional fees are incurred from failing to pay the "ZipCash" bill.
WFAA illustrates this point, noting that $13.24 in tolls not paid at the time but billed through the mail could add up to $80.64 with the additional fees.
Featured image via Shutterstock.
(H/T: Yahoo! Auto)