The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is sending a message to Pennsylvania drivers with outstanding unpaid tolls: pay your bill by 7 p.m. Friday or get your vehicle registration revoked.
“That's great,” said Bill Schneider from Tobyhanna. “Because I pay for my tolls, so I think everyone should pay for their toll. If you use the turnpike, you shouldn't get away with not paying your bills.”
The commission said as of June 23, the statewide total of outstanding turnpike violations was $17.1 million.
More than 10,000 Pennsylvania drivers owe $500 or more, making them eligible for PennDOT to suspend their vehicle registrations.
“Are you serious?” said Ryan Hughes from New Jersey. “Holy crap that's a lot of fines. That's a whole heck of a lot of fines and so their answer to that is to go and revoke it.”
“People do have to pay. I don't know how else you'd hold them accountable, revoking registration seems a bit harsh,” said Bill Barton from Philadelphia. “I've never had a problem with that myself."
The total amount owned by drivers from several counties in our area, including Luzerne, Lackawanna, Carbon and Monroe Counties, tally up to between $100,000 and nearly $500,000.
But the commission has been offering violators a reprieve since July 5 through an amnesty program.
Toll bills newer than 60 days could be paid off at face value with no penalty.
Bills older than 60 days would have to cover the unpaid toll amount and part of the fines, but that could be done on a payment plan.
The Turnpike Commission says within three weeks of starting the amnesty program, more than 19,000 toll violations were resolved.
But that program expires on Friday night.
“They just go through the E-ZPass lane,” said Schneider. “I don't think they should let it get more than a couple hundred dollars but you should just pay your bills.”
The Turnpike Commission says once your registration is revoked, you must pay all outstanding tolls and fines to the turnpike plus an additional $91 to PennDOT to get your registration back.
Those with unpaid tolls have until Friday at 7 p.m. to settle their debt for less by calling 1-877-PennPass (877-736-6727) from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays (select option 2 when calling).
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 see an example toll violation, click here: https://www.paturnpike.com/toll/what_is_violation.aspx.
For a sample toll bill, click here: https://www.paturnpike.com/toll/paying_by_toll_by_plate.aspx.