People with more than 100 unpaid tolls can expect to face penalties starting in September if they don’t pay their bill or set up a payment plan with an Austin-area tolling agency.
In September 2018, the Central Texas Regional Mobility board approved the habitual toll violator program. It goes after an estimated 15,000 people who each have more than 100 unpaid tolls, resulting in millions of dollars in lost revenue, said Tracie Brown, the agency’s director of operations. Under the program, the second of two notices for these unpaid tolls will be mailed in July, she said.
“We’re not talking about people that missed one or two toll bills,” Brown said. “We’re talking about customers … that use—for instance, 183A we have three mainline plazas—use it six times a day, every day. This is continued behavior.”
If these offenders do not pay their tolls or set up a payment plan, they will find their names posted on the Mobility Authority’s website in September and their vehicle registration renewal blocked through the Department of Motor Vehicles. These drivers also have an opportunity to appeal the violator status before their names are posted, Brown said.
Those who do not pay will also have their vehicles added to a list of ones that are no longer permitted on the agency’s toll facilities. Starting in September, new cameras on Toll 183A and Toll 290 will detect these prohibited vehicles.
“If those vehicles are found to be traveling on our toll roads in violation of that prohibition, law enforcement has the option to issue a warning or a traffic citation, and it is up to their discretion of whether or not they impound the vehicle,” Brown said.
On June 26, the board approved a $404,526 contract to purchase cameras to install on Toll 183A and Toll 290 as well as a mobile camera for use by law enforcement. These cameras will detect vehicles only on the prohibited list and inform law enforcement, which can pull the driver over and issue a ticket for trespassing.
In July, the board will approve agreements with law enforcement in Travis and Williamson counties for enforcement of the Mobility Authority’s program.