TX DOT ReStarts Habitual Toll Offender Program

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Local law enforcement teams are actively watching the tollways operated by TX DOT.

The toll runners they are looking for are those who owe thousands of dollars, according to TX DOT spokesperson Veronica Beyer. 

"If they see them driving on the toll roads they are going to pull them over and possibly impound their cars,” said Beyer.

TX DOT recently released a list of top 9 drivers who are now prohibited to be on its tollways. Most of the alleged toll runners are from the Austin metro area.  Two are not from central Texas; Laredo and San Antonio. Beyer says the agency has reached out to them all.
"We have had numerous communications with these people, via snail mail, email phone calls, they know who they are, they know they've done the wrong thing its time for them to pay up,” said Beyer.

The nine on the list have a total of $52,361 unpaid toll transactions. The amount they owe, according to TX DOT totals $145,378. 

Drivers who spoke to FOX-7 agree, if you use the toll road; you should pay.

"Everybody has to pay the tolls, so why do other people get off, I don't  know, it doesn't really bother me,” said Kathleen Noble who has a TX Tag.

The policy to impound cars, seems a bit much to Jeff Dunsworth who lives in Round Rock. 

"I think they should send a warrant out for the person's arrest, I don’t think they have a right to tow the vehicle. But they should knock on the door and catch them first thing in the morning."

Earlier this year, TX DOT waived more than a billion dollars in fines and fees. It was a decision that came after legislation was passed capping how much could be charged. Under the new fee plan TX DOT may not charge a customer more than $48 in late fees in a 12- month period. 

"Our new fee structure is that we can only charge you $4 per bill. So you can drive through a new toll road and have 20 charges per bill, we are only going to charge you $4 if you are late, after 30 days, so it's a really low fine,” said Beyer.

It’s important to note that the fee cap pass by the legislature only applies to TX DOT toll roads.

There is a different fine and fee structure for tollways operated by the regional mobility authority like MoPac, Hwy290 and Hwy 71 near ABIA.