Posted in: Infrastructure,
by Gregg Laskoski on Jul 16, 2013 06:00 AM
Acting chief of the Maryland (Toll) Authority (MdTA) Bruce Gartner says they now have the legal "teeth" needed to begin collecting tolls, fees and penalties owing by motorists who buzz through open road or dedicated E-Zpass toll lanes and ignore bills. The teeth come in the form of the power under HB420 to get the offender's vehicle registration suspended.
Under the new law failure to pay a Notice of Toll Due (NOTD) within 30 days of delivery will be hit with a civil citation and as $50 toll violation fee on top of tolls owing. This can be contested in district court. If it isn't and if payment of the tolls and violation fees are unpaid the state toll authority can seek non-renewal or suspension of the registration of the vehicle. In addition the outstanding debt goes to the state's central collections unit. They mean business!
"Every dollar counts, but this isn't just a money issue – it's a fairness issue for the 99 percent of motorists who do pay their tolls," Gartner is quoted in a statement from MdTA.
Maryland's toll collection efforts are proceeding with caution. They have an 'Amnesty' period in effect until early October.
Between now and early October when the law will be put fully into effect MdTA will waive the fees on tolls unpaid as of July 1.
Some $6.7m in tolls is unpaid over the past five years.
Customers with toll debts in Maryland can pay in a variety of ways:
- at ezpassmd.com; by check/money order payable to E-ZPass Maryland to PO Box 17600, Baltimore, MD 21297; stopping in at an E-ZPass Maryland Stop-In Center; or, by calling 1-888-321-6824 E-ZPass Maryland Customer Service Center 7am - 6pm between Monday and Friday.
MdTA says that the new process for collecting tolls "paves the way for reciprocal agreements with other states to strengthen interagency collection of outstanding tolls, as well as for the growth of all electronic tolling (AET) in Maryland."
And it says MdTA "is studying the feasibility of removing toll plazas and using AET at its other toll facilities."
MdTA's second tollroad the Inter County Connector MD200 is already all-electronic. I-95 toll express lanes north of the Baltimore harbor tunnels will also be AET when they open next year. Next candidates for cashless operations will probably be the Key and Hatem bridges, MdTA officials say. The busier harbor tunnels and the Kennedy Highway I-95 would come later.