Last week, TxDOT released its list of toll dodgers with the highest toll bills.
Texas is following in the footsteps of other states that have chosen to release the identities of the most prolific toll dodgers.
In the past, TxDOT has been limited to sending repeated invoices or seeking restitution through Justice of the Peace courts. The new state law provides the agency with significantly more power to collect the unpaid tolls. In addition to publishing the list of top violators, TxDOT also has the authority to:
- Ban vehicles from using TxDOT 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.
The passage of Senate Bill 1792 gave TxDOT the authority to publicly report the names of toll violators in an effort to collect more than $27 million in unpaid tolls.
“Everyone using our state’s toll roads is responsible for paying to use them. Chronic violators are ultimately taking from the majority of motorists who do things right and pay their tolls,” said Senator Kirk Watson, the author of SB 1792. “The bipartisan support for SB 1792 reflects how strongly the legislature feels about going after toll road abusers who are looking for a free ride.”
“Ensuring that chronic toll scofflaws pay their share on Texas toll facilities is the right thing to do. It is unfair to ask lawful toll road users to offset the revenue lost to those who abuse the system,” said Larry Phillips, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee. “I applaud this action and am glad money collected will go toward paying debt and operations.”
The “Scofflaw Violators List” identifies the top 25 toll dodgers. Their outstanding toll balances range from $236,026.32 to $82,297.26.