Reporting Kai Jackson
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The state is cracking down on drivers who skip the toll–drivers who have cost Maryland millions in lost revenue. Now, if you blow through an E-ZPass lane and don’t pay up, your license could be suspended.
Kai Jackson has more on the tough new law.
The MDTA says drivers owe millions in uncollected toll fees, and the state intends to collect.
The state of Maryland will start cracking down on toll jumpers going through E-Z lanes with no pass and never paying. It’s estimated 650,000 drivers owe Maryland some $6.7 million.
“If you’re not going to pay what you’re supposed to be paying like a normal citizen, then you should have consequences,” said Melissa Schrieber, Parkville.
The state encourages drivers to buy E-ZPasses, but it is legal to drive through E-ZPass lanes without them. When the bill is mailed, drivers are supposed to pay it.
The state says, in too many cases, that’s not happening.
“We need to insure that, that one percent of people are paying their fair share, too,” said Bruce Gartner, Acting Exec. Secretary, MDTA.
The MDTA needed legislative action to request the MVA suspend driver registrations. The agency got its wish, and that new law went into effect July 1.
Here’s how the state’s crackdown is going to work:
From now on, drivers who go through the E-ZPass lanes without a transponder will still get a bill in the mail, but they have 30 days in which to pay it. Failure to pay that bill means a $50 fine. Failure to pay the fine and the toll means your vehicle registration could be suspended.
“It’s the same thing as if you got a parking ticket and you got, like, 20 of them and you’re not paying,” said Alex Maione, College Park.
There are also renting and leasing companies that apparently owe the state millions of dollars as well.
However, those companies say the actual culprits are those people who rented and leased their vehicles, saying they’re really the ones who owe those toll fees.
Drivers can pay their tolls by contacting E-ZPass customer service at 1-888-321-6824.