NTTA Seeks Toll Enforcement Legislation

Filed under: Community |

Each year, millions of North Texans and visitors travel on NTTA toll roads.  Millions pay for their use of the toll road – the maintenance, safety, monitoring, and reliable travel – but a small percentage, numbering in the tens of thousands, does not.  Instead, they routinely ignore multiple invoices, disregard summons to appear in hearings, and refuse to pay what they owe for using the toll road.

As the 83rd Texas Legislature begins its work, the NTTA is working to address the problem of habitual violators by pursuing solutions we believe will encourage payment by these scofflaws so they pay their fair share.

LegislationEveryone who drives the toll road is expected to pay for the service, but these habitual violators use the toll roads without regard for the cost of maintaining tollways and building new roads. According to the Dallas Morning News, “it takes money out of the pockets of law-abiding commuters. Tolls go to build and maintain the areas tollways, so everyone who uses the roads needs to pony up a fair share. Skipping out on tolls is no different from eating a meal at a restaurant and dashing out the door before the check arrives.”

The NTTA is seeking two options currently available to other state entities:  vehicle registration block and a ban from toll roads.  The restrictions would apply to habitual violators, defined as those with 100 or more unpaid tolls and who are past the third notice of non-payment, which is a minimum of 16 invoices from the NTTA.

Under the proposed legislation, an habitual violator could face one of the following penalties from an administrative hearing officer:

  • A block on an habitual violator’s attempt to re-register his vehicle until he pays for his use of the toll roads.  The violator would be given ample notice prior to a vehicle registration block.  In addition, NTTA is proposing an extra step prior to a vehicle registration block or ban from the tollways:  an administrative hearing process in which violators could review the images and provide information regarding their toll bills and settle the outstanding toll bills if it is determined they incurred the tolls.
  • An effective ban from NTTA roads that could impose criminal trespass penalties if the violator defies the ban order by driving on NTTA toll roads.

The single goal of the NTTA’s proposed legislation is simply to obtain payment for all toll road use and services provided. The proposed solutions are effective and proportional and are intended to ensure fairness to the 92 percent of toll payers who pay for the service, maintenance and safety of the toll roads.

The NTTA is working to ensure our millions of customers who pay for the service are not forced to pay the costs of the small percentage that chooses to violate the rules.   We must improve the existing toll enforcement strategies in order to increase payment of tolls and to deter nonpayment – it is important to customers who do pay, to our bondholders who fund the toll roads, and to regional transportation projects in need of funds.