Pennsylvania steps up enforcement of state toll highways
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announces the passage of a Pennsylvania House of Representatives bill that includes increased enforcement of toll roads.
The law lowers the thresholds that result in suspension of registration for Pennsylvania vehicle owners with unpaid tolls and fees from $500 to $250.
Upon entry into force, Law 1486 will update the criteria that lead to the suspension of vehicle registrations as follows:
• This will lower the dollar threshold from $500 to $250 in unpaid tolls and tolls.
• This will reduce the number of outstanding invoices or violations from six to four.
• It will extend the statute of limitations for unpaid invoices or violations from 3 to 5 years.
PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton noted that while most customers are doing the right thing and paying on time, the new measure will allow the highway to initiate collection processes more quickly from people who choose not to pay.
“We need to look for these drivers before their toll obligations go over the $500 mark and potentially interfere with their ability to pay,” Compton said. “Five plus years of experience have shown that it’s better to act sooner to maximize the chances of getting money from those who think it’s OK to drive free.”
The law will take effect 60 days after its signing. Turnpike estimates that 25,000 additional vehicle registrations could be suspended due to unpaid toll bills.
If found guilty, penalties for driving a vehicle with a suspended registration may include:
• Mandatory three-month driver’s license suspension.
• Fine up to $500 plus legal fees.
• Higher auto insurance rates.
• A record of the violation in the offending driver’s history.
In addition to stronger enforcement, PA Turnpike has made it easier for customers to pay.
“We offer E-ZPass and Toll By Plate customers six ways to pay: by mail, by phone, online, via the PA TOLL PAY mobile app, through the cash network, and in person at our Harrisburg Customer store,” Compton added. “E-ZPass remains the easiest and least expensive way to pay on the PA backbone.”
Most customers purchase the E-ZPass GoPak from one of 700 outlets across Pennsylvania, including 7-Eleven stores at Turnpike service locations.
In addition, customers who receive a toll invoice can upgrade to E-ZPass and save up to 60% on that invoice and on all journeys on the PA highway.