Pennsylvania Turnpike to punish toll dodgers with felony charges

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is planning on pursuing serious criminal charges against drivers who skip out on paying tolls.  According to a report in the Philly Voice, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has asked prosecutors to draw up felony theft of services charges for drivers who owe more than $2000 in unpaid tolls. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has reportedly so far filed 13 complaints.

More felony charges could follow, though, as the agency has identified more than 10,000 toll violators who owe more than $17 million in unpaid tolls from the past three years. Many of the toll dodgers use the E-ZPass lanes without a transponder. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has turned to more and more aggressive tactics in order to collect on owed tolls. Last summer, the Turnpike Commission joined forces with PennDOT to suspend vehicle registrations for driver who owe more than $500 in unpaid tolls. On January 7, 2018, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission increased tolls by 6%. For truckers, the most common toll went up from $10.17 to 10.78 for E-ZPass users and from $14.45 to $15.35 for those paying with cash. This marks the tenth year in a row that tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike have increased.

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