Motorists traveling the Pennsylvania Turnpike who have overdue toll violations will have their motor vehicle registrations suspended if they don’t pay up in the next couple of weeks.
A new law, Act 165 which takes effect Aug. 4, provides tolling agencies much stronger enforcement measures to ensure motorists pay tolls, according to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Act 165 was enacted last fall.
The commission last week mailed 13,400 notices to Chester County residents with overdue toll violations warning them to pay the fines or risk having their vehicle registration suspended. Chester County residents owe the turnpike commission more than $500,000 in unpaid fines and invoices. There are 12,423 motorists in Delaware County with overdue toll violations. Montgomery County tops the list, with 60,587 motorists who owe the turnpike commission money.
“Our customers pay tolls so we can keep our roadway safe and in good repair and meet our obligation to PennDOT to help fund mass-transit services statewide,” said Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “Now, those who are habitually taking a free ride — both private and commercial drivers — will have to stop doing that, or risk a suspension. It’s simply not fair to those who do pay their fair share.”
At the Valley Forge interchange in Montgomery County, more than one out of every 20 vehicles that passes through (5.5 percent) is in violation by passing through without paying. At the Neshaminy Falls interchange in Bucks County, more than one out of ever 10 vehicles (11.1 percent) passes through without paying. Only at three interchanges -- those in Cameron, Forest and Potter counties -- are there no violations by motorists.
Motorists who pay before Aug. 4 can have additional fees waived through the partial-amnesty program introduced by the commission Wednesday. Turnpike officials will waive administrative fees for toll violations or invoices that have not been sent to debt-collection agencies. If the violation has already been sent, 50 percent of the fees will be waived, commission officials said.
“Last week, letters explaining our partial amnesty plan were mailed to those at imminent risk of suspension,” Compton said. “While repeat violators may have ignored multiple past attempts to collect outstanding tolls and penalties, this is a notice they should not ignore. Also, anyone with an outstanding toll bill or violation can take advantage of this month’s partial-amnesty program – not just those at the highest levels of violation.”
Motorists whose registration has been suspended will owe all outstanding tolls and fees to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and an additional $91 fee to PennDOT for registration reinstatement.
To learn more about the partial-amnesty program, or to check if you have unpaid PA Turnpike toll violations, visit www.PATurnpike.com/violationenforcement. To pay now, call 1-877-PennPass (877-736-6727) from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. There will be times when callers wait in queue or may not be able to get through on the first try. Callers can leave a message and will receive a return call within 24 to 48 hours.