For many years the North Texas Tollway Authority dealt with toll violators by ignoring them. Then they tried “shaming” violators by publishing their names. Now NTTA may be about to try something that will actually work. If they can collect tolls from the violators, perhaps they will stop increasing the tolls the rest of us have to pay.
Details were in a recent article in the Dallas Morning News. Here are the opening paragraphs:
Dallas-Fort Worth motorists who routinely ignore their bills for driving on area toll roads may want to find new ways to get around — unless they want to find themselves without a vehicle.
North Texas Tollway Authority officials on Wednesday are expected to formally adopt new powers granted by the Texas Legislature. That includes impounding the vehicles of repeat toll dodgers caught driving on the agency’s roads.
“It’s pretty frustrating to be here, but you’ve seen the numbers,” said NTTA board chairman Kenneth Barr.
The agency considers about 70,000 drivers to be habitual violators, defined by state law as people who owe money for 100 or more tolls incurred in the past year. Many of those motorists still regularly drive the agency’s roads despite sometimes owing tens of thousands of dollars in tolls and fines.
“If people are going to use the roads, they need to pay for doing that,” Barr said.
Impounding habitual violators’ vehicles is the most extreme step in the agency’s new ability to ban drivers from its roads, which include the Dallas North and Sam Rayburn tollways and the Bush Turnpike.
Banning scofflaws is among the new powers the Legislature gave some toll agencies this year to combat the growing number of people without TollTags tied to credit and debit cards who ignore ZipCash bills.
Even if the agency accepts its new banning power Wednesday, the program won’t likely be used until early next year.