Proposed Turnpike Reform Package Designed to ‘Stop Bleeding’ of Uncollected Tolls

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Image via Creative Commons.
A return of in-person toll takers is one of the proposals to stem the tide of unpaid trips on roadways that include the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

State Sen. Marty Flynn plans to introduce a Turnpike reform package in hopes of preventing future uncollected tolls, often referred to as “leakage,” writes Marley Parish for the Pennsylvania Capital-Star.

Last year, more than $104 million in Turnpike tolls ended up uncollected.

“This number is unacceptable, and it demands a targeted approach to increase enforcement and penalties for those that consistently evade paying applicable tolls,” wrote Flynn, a member of the 14-member Senate Transportation Committee, in a memo last month.

In three pieces of the legislation, he proposes:

  • Higher penalties for drivers who fail to pay their tolls
  • Raising the statute of limitation to pursue offenders
  • Mandated Turnpike Commission reporting to the General Assembly
  • Reinstation of staff at Turnpike interchanges

“The attempt to streamline and modernize the collection of tolls through the shift to all-electronic tolling was made with good intentions,” wrote Flynn in the memo. “However, the Turnpike Commission has failed to sufficiently adapt existing enforcement mechanisms — along with a lack of new tools — to address the issue of unpaid tolls.

“We need to stop the bleeding and find solutions.”

Read more about the Turnpike reform package in the Pennsylvania Capital-Star.

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