Serial toll evaders beware – The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office is teaming up with the PA Turnpike Commission to crack down on scofflaws.
Half of toll violations throughout the entire state occur in Bucks and Montgomery Counties. With about 709,000 missed tolls, the PTC has missed out on more than $21,000,000 in these two counties alone.
DA Matt Weintraub joined PTC CEO Mark Compton and PA Turnpike Commissioner Pat Deon to announce the partnership Wednesday. The spoke at the Neshaminy Falls Interchange, where 102,498 violations have added up to $3,517,736.
“Those who decline to pay tolls are not just stealing from the commission,” said Commissioner Deon. “They are stealing from the vast majority of those who dutifully pay their tolls, whether at the toll booth or when money is deducted from their E-ZPass accounts.
“These violators are not those who understandably may be confused by the toll lanes or forgetful about paying a bill. These are people who regularly and intentionally get on the turnpike with no intention of paying their tolls ever. That is – until now.”
With a $327,705 annual grant from the PTC, the DA’s Office has hired a new county detective and an additional attorney. They will go after motorists who have dodge $2,000 in tolls or more.
Weintraub pointed to two extreme examples. In one case, a violator took 2,264 trips on the turnpike, continually ignoring notifications from the Turnpike.
“He was a chef who wanted to get to work faster. But he didn’t feel like paying for it. After his arrest, he paid $3,500 up front, and he has a monthly plan now to pay off the other $11,000 in tolls that each and everyone of us agree to pay and do pay everyday we use the Turnpike.”
In another instance, a the owner of a limo company explicitly told his drivers to not pay tolls.
“We’re not going after the mixed up old lady who mistakenly goes through an E-ZPass lane and doesn’t have an E-ZPass.”
The partnership will go through a three year trial period. After three years, they will assess the program and decide whether it is still needed.