Toll Fines

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GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4111
Toll Fines

Do you think $202,000 in fines for $440 in unpaid tolls is fair? How about the $40,000 he is actually having to pay?

Jason Bourcier admits to owing $440 in missed tolls on the Dulles Toll Road.

He has a lot of excuses for why he breezed through without paying for three-and-a-half years -- like he was unemployed and sometimes didn't have quarters.

Then he discovered VDOT tacks on a $25 processing fee per violation and $500 per infraction. It added up to a bill for $202,000 and this week, VDOT/E-ZPASS took Bourcier to court in Fairfax to try to get the money back.

Bourcier says he didn't pay the money back when the fines were lower on principle. He thinks the fines are egregious.

The best he could get in court was a lowering of the penalty to $40,000. He says he is on a payment plan until the year 2067, when he will be 87 years old.

He wants lawmakers to take another look at the fee structure.

Read more: VDOT takes Va. man to court to try to collect over $200,000 in D - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

Sounds fair to me. He had plenty of opportunity to pay the first toll after the fact, and avoid that road in the future. He chose not to.

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 780

DUI offenders get away with a lot less. I agree he should have paid the fines but the amount he needs to pay now?? Come on!

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

No, that's ridiculous.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"mommytoMR.FACE" wrote:

I agree he should have paid the fines but the amount he needs to pay now?? Come on!

This doesn't make any sense. The $500 in fines for each toll-skip are the reason his total bill is up to $200,000. That's what happens when you don't pay the original toll; they tack on a fine. They have these penalties in place specifically to keep people from skipping out on the toll in the first place. You do it, and get a bill for $500 and have a WTF moment and then you pay it off and you don't do it again. He did it again & again & again, hundreds of times. He absolutely should have to pay those penalties, or maybe lose his license for a couple of years so he can really appreciate the privilege of driving on that toll road when he gets it back.

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 780

"Spacers" wrote:

This doesn't make any sense. The $500 in fines for each toll-skip are the reason his total bill is up to $200,000. That's what happens when you don't pay the original toll; they tack on a fine. They have these penalties in place specifically to keep people from skipping out on the toll in the first place. You do it, and get a bill for $500 and have a WTF moment and then you pay it off and you don't do it again. He did it again & again & again, hundreds of times. He absolutely should have to pay those penalties, or maybe lose his license for a couple of years so he can really appreciate the privilege of driving on that toll road when he gets it back.

And like I said, DUI offenders get away with a lot less and they were a threat to human beings, including themselves. Yeah, the guy is an idiot for skipping so many tolls and racking up fines but they surely can waive some of the cost like the legal system waives plenty of things for criminals.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1683

"Spacers" wrote:

This doesn't make any sense. The $500 in fines for each toll-skip are the reason his total bill is up to $200,000. That's what happens when you don't pay the original toll; they tack on a fine. They have these penalties in place specifically to keep people from skipping out on the toll in the first place. You do it, and get a bill for $500 and have a WTF moment and then you pay it off and you don't do it again. He did it again & again & again, hundreds of times. He absolutely should have to pay those penalties, or maybe lose his license for a couple of years so he can really appreciate the privilege of driving on that toll road when he gets it back.

Bourcier says he didn't pay the money back when the fines were lower on principle. He thinks the fines are egregious.

The best he could get in court was a lowering of the penalty to $40,000. He says he is on a payment plan until the year 2067, when he will be 87 years old.

He wants lawmakers to take another look at the fee structure

Read more: VDOT takes Va. man to court to try to collect over $200,000 in D - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

I agree with him. The fine for running a toll booth is higher than the fines for things like speeding and running a red light.

We "ran" a toll booth once. We were on vacation, so it was somewhere we were not entirely familiar with. We were in the carpool lane and thought we qualified. We got a ticket for $25 or we could buy a fastrak pass.

If were weren't a carpool, the fines for using the carpool lane are around $400. But this has nothing to do with the toll road; that's the standard fine for being in a carpool lane when you don't meet the requirements.

The $500/per fine is excessive when compared to fines of running a stop sign, speeding, and other moving violations.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

The $500/per fine is excessive when compared to fines of running a stop sign, speeding, and other moving violations.

Exactly. Let the punishment fit the crime. $500 for running a toll is ridiculous. The whole thing is ridiculous.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4111

I agree with those that think these fines are excessive and are not appropriate for not paying a toll. Here it is now all electronic so you don't even have the option of putting money in, so it would be very easy for someone to rack up tolls if they didn't pay attention to the signs or understand how it works. Once you are on you go through multiple tollbooths so you could rack up thousands in fines for one trip down the road. They send you a bill but if your car is registered to an old address or something it is very easy for the bill not to reach you. They were discussing this on the radio the other day and someone called in about his son who was driving a car registered to his mother. The mother died and the tolltag was registered to her, so the credit cards linked to the account were canceled. The kid was 20 and didn't really pay attention and moved when his mother died, and ended up racking up thousands of dollars in fines because all the bills went to an old address and it was in his mother's name. I mean ya he should have checked into it he knew he was going through the toll booths, but I just think the fines are ridiculous and excessive.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

The $500 fine only kicks in if you don't pay the toll & the $25 processing fee when they send you the notice. Running a red light is $490 and carpool violation is $480, so this seems pretty comparable to me. And I do think evading a toll is quite akin to both of those, because you're driving somewhere without the right to be driving there.

And I don't really care about wrong addresses, wrong credit card, it's all blahblahbull****. If you're smart/mature/responsible/whatever enough to drive a car, you should be smart/mature/responsible/whatever enough to properly change your address and credit card when you need to. This guy admits that he blew off paying the tolls, and now he wants us to feel sorry for him. To me it's not really much different than the people who drive in carpool lanes or run red lights and just hope they don't get caught this time. This guy just got caught a hundred times.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I hate toll roads. I have to admit I kin of admire this guy's moxy. Like "Nope, I'm not paying the tolls.Nope, not paying the fines either. What are you going to do to me? Debtor's prison isn't a thing anymore." I mean sure, they'll probably garnish his wages and most likely he'll never own his own home, but aside from that he's living the dream. Lol