NTTA sicks DPS on toll violators, to impound cars

Link to article here.

So now we've reduced our Department of Public Safety to little more than glorified meter maids for the toll authority. Really? This is what toll policy has gotten us in Texas under Rick Perry.

NTTA to team up with DPS to catch habitual toll violators
May 1, 2014

DALLAS — The North Texas Tollway Authority is taking a bold step to recoup millions in unpaid tolls across North Texas.

Starting in the month of May, NTTA and DPS will team up to begin pulling over habitual toll violators, and in some cases, towing their vehicles.

“People have had every notice," said Michael Rey, of NTTA. "The folks who are in this category are blatantly violating the terms of the roadway."

NTTA’s ban will first start with 500 drivers. And after some time, 500 more. NTTA officials hope to get the attention of 6,000 drivers by the end of the year. Rey says every one of these drivers will be process-served with notices. That notice calls for 10 days to either appeal or pay up.

To make this notorious list, Rey says drivers must have at least 100 outstanding tolls and two NTTA failure to pay notices.

“I was on that list," said Steven Porter, who went to the NTTA Thursday. "I’m not high up on that list, but I’m on that list.

He didn’t disclose how much he has to pay in fines but said it’s more than $5,000.

The list of habitual violators started with 75,000 names and it’s now down to 30,000 in Texas.

If Porter doesn’t pay, DPS will be on him and new license readers will be scanning for his license plates. NTTA has just purchased four new license readers that are mobile and will be placed in different areas of toll roads every day.

“They match them to a list of habitual violators eligible for ban," Rey said. "If they trigger one, the command center will relay that to DPS troopers and they will pull over the vehicle."

NTTA tells us the first time toll violators get pulled over they will get a citation, a fine up to $500 and a Class C Misdemeanor. Rey says if the trooper realizes you have been using the toll roads several times without paying, your car may be impounded. And getting the car returned will require the violator to pay the fines or set up a payment plan.