PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – Jay Pinson is one of more than 34,000 people on the North Texas Tollway Authority’s latest list of scofflaws with outstanding toll debts.
His day off was spent at the NTTA’s customer service office in Plano trying to clear the debt from his name.
The list says he owes more than $23,000 in outstanding tolls.
“My ex-wife actually has the car that she was awarded in the divorce, but I’m getting the bill,” he said.
It is a common story among tollway drivers.
“My son, who we bought a car for, the plate is still in my husband’s name and he blows through the tollways and the bill comes to my home,” said Donna Valentino.
The bottom line for NTTA, they want their money and renewing the list of scofflaws on a monthly basis is their latest tactic.
“We’ve never seen it as shaming. It’s a different way to reach people,” said Michael Rey, the media relations manager for NTTA.
It has worked, but not as well as the NTTA would have liked. Some 1,500 people have paid their debts and were removed from the list.
However, as of September 4, there are more than 34,000 people on the list.
In July, the list had the names of 25,000 people.
If those with outstanding debts still do not pay them, the NTTA says they will sue in civil court.
And if that does not work, the NTTA will ask board members next month for permission to ban vehicles from their roadways.
A vehicle found to have an outstanding toll debt, “the next time it’s stopped on an NTTA roadway, could be towed and impounded.”
The elusive Amber Young of Dallas, remains the top violator owing more than $182,000 in fines.
Drivers like Valentino say the scofflaw list is a good thing.
“I think the booting of the car or towing the car could be much more effective than lawsuits,” she said.
But for others, like Pinson, the list has only caused an inconvenience and embarrassment.
“I think it’s ridiculous. I’m appalled to be honest,” said Pinson. “I’m spending my day off dealing with this and it really has nothing to do with me.”
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