Texas Tries Shaming Drivers into Paying Highway Tolls
(AUSTIN, Texas) -- Texas drivers apparently hate paying tolls, so the agency that runs the state's highways published a list Thursday of the top 25 toll dodgers out of what they say are 28,000 habitual violators.
Each of the 28,000 have skipped paying tolls at least 100 times, said TxDOT, the agency that manages the roadways around Austin, costing the state $27 million.
But the top 25 toll deadbeats have blown through tolls thousands of times without paying.
The car that has racked up the most offenses is listed as being owned by Ronny Williams and Cora Lewis of Pflugerville. Records show the vehicle has dodged more than 14,300 toll bills totaling $236,000 in fees.
Tailing them are Mandy and Stephen Dyment of Hutto, owners of a car that is being dunned for more than 10,500 bills and $217,000 in fees, the agency said.
The vehicle owners did not respond to calls from ABC News.
"We have been in contact with these toll violators numerous times, so anyone posted on this list should not be surprised," said TxDOT spokesman David Glessner.
"We have one example, one we made 90 attempts to call one of the offenders," said spokesman Mark Cross, who did not reveal the driver's name. "That's an example of the extreme attempts we've made to contact these folks."
Toll fees range depending on how far the motorist travels, but bills start at $1.15 and escalate to $350 in administrative fees if that matter goes to court.
TxDOT said in a statement that it reserves the right to take these violators' cars off the road with Texas Transportation Commission approval, as well as potentially block vehicle re-registration.
The move follows The North Texas Tollway Authority's move to shame their worst offenders last year.
The North Texas Tollway Authority released a list of more than 26,000 motorists with more than 100 unpaid toll violations and fines adding up to $294 million. Only 655 drivers came forward and were willing to pay their fines.
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