LAUREL — Hundreds of thousands of tolls have gone unpaid on Maryland’s Intercounty Connector, but officials hope a new law will help them crack down on toll scofflaws.
Records obtained by WTOP-FM show 862,458 tolls have not been paid since January 2012, costing the state millions of dollars. Documents also show 88,593 drivers with two or more unpaid video tolls.
The new laws that go into effect on Monday crack down on drivers who skip out on tolls across Maryland and then fail to pay the bills. The change coincides with toll increases at bridges and tunnels.
“We want to make sure everyone is paying, because law-abiding citizens are paying and they want to make sure we go after the scofflaws,” says Maryland Transportation Authority acting Executive Secretary Bruce Gartner. “While it’s a small percentage of our overall revenue, every dollar counts, especially with a toll increase going into effect today.”
Records show the unpaid video tolls represent less than 4 percent of the overall tolls along the ICC since January 2012.
Under the new law, drivers will receive a $50 civil citation if they do not pay an outstanding toll within 30 days. A driver can challenge the citation in court, but ignoring it leads a flagged registration. That means the driver will be unable to renew the registration until the bill is paid in full.
Previously, Maryland could only impose administrative fees and turn over unpaid tolls to collections. Now, officials can flag and eventually suspend the registration once a driver passes $1,000 in tolls due.