TxDOT system error overcharging toll tag holders

Area residents can take a survey to help TxDOT improve communication about I-35 construction.

Area residents can take a survey to help TxDOT improve communication about I-35 construction.

Drivers who use toll roads in the Houston area, may want to check their statements.

Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation said an error in its system has resulted in erroneous fines for drivers that use toll roads. The department is telling customers to call the agencies through which they have ordered their toll tags to dispute any pay by mail invoices with erroneous violations

Motorist Jovannah Martinez-Torres said she takes the Grand Parkway at least twice a day, but lately her bill has been a lot higher than usual.

She said she has a toll tag that charges straight to her checking account, and every time she went through a toll on the Grand Parkway, she was being charged an extra $5.

"You're telling me one of those little toll flashing things is $5.44? That's crazy," she said. "You keep going, $5, $5."

She said she has also been billed extra by the Harris County Toll Road Authority. Every time she went through a toll, she paid an extra $11, she said.

"Tell me why I'm being violated," she said. "The violation fees, it doesn't say for what."

ABC13 reached out to the TxDOT, who is in charge of tolls over the Grand Parkway. Representatives there said the problem is high priority and they are working to figure out the root of the problem.

The Harris County Toll Road Authority said they have also received complaints, and officials there are looking into the issue.

TxDOT released the following statement:

"We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience our toll customers are experiencing at this time. EZTag, TxTag and TollTag (Houston, Austin and Dallas toll authorities) have been working together to allow their toll tags to work seamlessly with Kansas and other states so that Texas toll tag users can drive on other states' toll roads using their same tags. During this time, the transfer of account information between the partnering toll authorities was delayed and, as a result, some customers were issued a pay by mail invoice and violations in error. Due to this issue, we are receiving a high volume of calls and customers are experiencing long wait times."

Message to customers:
"Please call the agency with which you established your TxTag, TollTag or EZTag account to dispute pay by mail invoices or violations you might have received in error from other toll agencies. Your home tag agency will file a dispute on your behalf to resolve these bill issues with the other agencies. There is no need for you to call both toll agencies. We appreciate your patience as we work with our partner tolling agencies to resolve the situation."

From Harris County Toll Road Authority:
"We are currently working with our partner agencies throughout the Texas region to fully understand any potential discrepancies in the interoperability process. We are looking into the matter to further understand and identify what, if any, issues may exist with the transfer of account information between the various agencies."

Drivers who believe they've been overcharged can submit a complaint here