Posted on October 15, 2013 at 8:34 PM
Wednesday, Oct 16 at 7:59 AM
SAN ANTONIO -- Public shame online; that’s the latest tool for Texas Department of Transportation, as it attempts to collect millions of dollars in overdue tolls.
“$27 million in unpaid tolls could go towards paying down debt and much needed road maintenance,” said Veronica Beyer with TxDOT.
That’s a lot of travel miles, given that toll roads typically average between 16 and 39 cents a mile.
The agency has been empowered by legislation filed this year, giving them the ability to enforce toll payments. TxDOT can now ask a collection agency to go after the nearly 28,000 offenders who have more than 100-unpaid tolls in just one year.
TxDOT isn’t just getting personal by outing the repeat offenders—the agency said it will also ban the offenders’ vehicles from the toll ways, and in some cases, have them towed away.
Officials said they will provide a list of names and license plates of the offenders to law enforcement.
TxDOT has also asked county tax-assessors/collectors to deny vehicle registration renewals to those habitual offenders. Bexar County isn’t on board yet.
“I don't know if it is necessarily our role to be enforcing toll roads, especially since we don't have any here in San Antonio, per se," said Bexar County Tax Assessor/Collector Albert Uresti.
But the cheater’s list may already be working. Since news of it leaked, TxDOT has reported an increase of $370,000 per day in toll payments received.
The offenders list is expected to be publicized online Wednesday.