New Jersey drivers who have consistently dodged tolls on the Atlantic City Expressway could soon see their vehicle registrations revoked.
On Wednesday, the South Jersey Transportation Authority will forward the state Motor Vehicle Commission the names of 150 individuals and companies who owe at least $200 in unpaid tolls on the expressway. Offenders will then receive a notice from the Motor Vehicle Commission that their registrations will be suspended in 25 days.
If violators make payment arrangements acceptable to the SJTA, which operates the expressway, they will avoid suspension. Registrations for those who do not pay will remain suspended until tolls and fees are paid, a news release from the SJTA states.
“The companies and individuals whose registration we’re moving to suspend are chronic toll violators who have ignored every effort we’ve made to get them to pay,” state Department of Transportation Commissioner James Simpson said in a written statement. “Last fall we announced that this step was coming, and we spent the past few months working with the Motor Vehicle Commission to implement this pilot program while at the same time giving these violators every opportunity to make good on what they owe.”
The new program, which was already adopted by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority earlier this year, will affect only New Jersey drivers because the Motor Vehicle Commission cannot revoke registrations of out-of-state drivers.
A review of the offenders by The Press of Atlantic City in July showed that two of the expressway’s top 10 toll violaters are from out of the state. Wells Fargo, with vehicles registered in Minnesota, had 661 violations totaling $13,154 in tolls and fees.
Tropiano Transportation Services, with vehicles registered in Pennsylvania, had 6,650 violations equating to $51,775 in tolls and fees. Until last year, Tropiano had a contract with the SJTA to provide ground transportation service from Atlantic City International Airport in Egg Harbor Township.
Tropiano officials have said the violations stem from the time they were working at the airport and that E-ZPass transponders were not working properly in their vehicles.
SJTA acting Executive Director Sam Donelson said the registration suspension program is the latest enforcement action the agency has taken against toll offenders. Toll evaders can also be ticketed by police or prosecuted for theft of services.
At times, the SJTA places monitors at toll booths who take down the make, model, color and license plates of offending cars.
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