PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – The North Texas Transit Authority’s plan for public shame seems to be working.
The agency’s posting of its top 100 non-payers to NTTA.org has increased traffic to the toll authority’s website 300 percent since the list went up earlier this week.
But some of the people on the list say they’ve been slapped with bills that do not belong to them.
Fort Worth resident Sonya Ritchie was involved in a wreck in August of last year. “The insurance company decided to total the car.”
But despite the car being totaled, it was restored. In March, she started getting toll tag invoices for the car she no longer owns.
She called the NTTA to straighten out the problem. “I filled out the appropriate forms, received the title from the state showing I no longer owned the car, and I faxed it to the NTTA.” But it didn’t solve the problem. “I was still getting invoices, Sometimes two invoices a month.”
What was once a $6.89 bill ballooned to $338. “I just feel it’s a ridiculous amount of money,” she told CBS 11. “They ask me, ‘Fax this title, fax this proof.’ And I do and I still get…. I don’t get it. I don’t get it.”
After CBS 11′s inquiry, the NTTA looked into the issue and said Ms. Ritchie had her name properly removed as owner of the car, and that right now she doesn’t owe anything.
But, her insurance company might. The invoices are addressed to her insurer…but not to its office, instead to her home. “They’re sending it to my address instead of the appropriate person, and I’m afraid someone is going to show up at my door. And I shouldn’t have to feel that way.”
Traffic attorney Brad Friedman of Meyer and Friedman understands her worry. “You say the insurance company is involved, maybe there’s some red tape between the insurance company and her.” He says a state vehicle motor transfer form should be sufficient. “I know it’s frustrating, and that’s tough,” according to Friedman.
Ritchie agrees. “I just want it resolved, that’s the bottom line.”And it can’t come soon enough.
Friedman, by the way, urges anyone who legitimately owes tolls to settle up. He says frequently the fines and penalties can be negotiated if a driver pays the original tolls and purchases a tag. His website is trafficticketsdallas.com.