Penalties proposed for FasTrak violators

January 9, 2008 1:08:00 PM PST
The Bay Area General Toll Authority wrapped up their meeting Wednesday. Their general consensus was drivers who don't pay the toll because of technical failures with FasTrak passes will be dealt with lightly. However, drivers who intentionally drive through those toll booths without paying are in for a rude awakening.

The tolls are losing nearly $3.5 million dollars a year to unpaid FasTrak drivers and they want that money back. While that sounds like a lot, but it's a big improvement over the $6.8 million dollars lost last fiscal year.

They have identified problems such as old cameras at the booths and cars with obstructed driver's licenses that cannot be tracked.

They have ideas on how to get around these problems because a lot of people are taking advantage of the toll authorities weaknesses.

"We have our top violator that we track all the time. We've had one violator that has 637 violations and they were using two bridges a day and going through just about every day. That driver got a rude awakening when they tried registering their vehicle and found out that they couldn't register their vehicle and had a significant payment that they needed to make out to us," says Rod McMillan, Bay Area Toll Authority.

That driver owes about $50,000 dollars.

Some of the proposed changes include implementing a program to distribute toll tags at car dealerships, having CHP pull over drivers with no plates, legislation to impound or boot vehicles that have unpaid violations and revoking the driver's license of repeat offenders with outstanding fines.

One member suggested a dramatic and loud siren for drivers who violate the FasTrak lanes. There are plenty of ideas, but the main issue is figuring out the best plan that would feasibly work.