166 Persistent Toll Violator Vehicles Towed, Owing More Than $5 Million Dollars in Unpaid Tolls and Fees in July
Bridge and Tunnel Officers Intercepted and Towed More Than 1,100 Vehicles Year-to-date for DMV Vehicle Registration Suspensions
Targeted Enforcement Efforts Included 15 Interdictions Made in One Day, 11 Interdictions Made on Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that Bridge and Tunnel Officers stopped and towed 166 persistent toll violator vehicles for New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) registration suspension during the month of July. The scofflaws accounted for over $5 million in unpaid tolls and fees. Year-to-date, MTA Bridges & Tunnels has intercepted and towed more than 1,100 vehicles for persistent toll violations, owing approximately $16 million in tolls. Through these enforcement efforts, the agency has recovered more than $11 million in tolls and fees owed.
The robust enforcement comes as Bridge and Tunnel Officers conducted a series of targeted initiatives since May. In a single day on Wednesday, July 27, Bridge and Tunnel Officers stopped and towed 15 vehicles, including 11 on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
“Bridge and Tunnel Officers are trained and equipped with the tools and technology to stop these toll evaders, and they take real pride in their work,” said Daniel F. DeCrescenzo Jr., President of MTA Bridges and Tunnels. “We are committed to the collection and protection of our toll revenue, which is reinvested in our facilities and helps support MTA mass transit. Bottom line: we never stop chasing the money.”
Bridge and Tunnel Officers’ vehicles are equipped with specialized license plate readers that can identify motorists who are operating vehicles with a suspended registration due to unpaid tolls.
Bridges and Tunnels, through tolls and fees collected, has recovered nearly 90% of the tolls owed by recidivist toll scofflaws whose NYS vehicle registrations were suspended due to toll evasion since the inception of the DMV Registration Suspension Program in advance of the conversion to open road tolling.
This enforcement aligns with a coordinated strategy by the MTA and city and state law enforcement partners, who announced a joint effort against obstructed and counterfeit license plates earlier this year. Year-to-date, Bridges and Tunnels has issued nearly 2,000 summonses for covered or obstructed plates.
Bridges and Tunnels encompasses interdepartmental strategies for recovering tolls owed, which include:
- DMV registration suspensions
- Robust roadside interdictions
- Data-driven intelligence to continuously identify persistent toll violators
Bridge and Tunnel Officers and NYS Police officers have interdicted more than 6,700 vehicles since the start of the open road tolling program in 2017. Along with the NYS Police, the agency works with other City, State, and regional law enforcement partners to share information and intelligence and conduct aggressive enforcement.
In November 2021, the maximum fine for covered and obstructed license plates was raised from $200 to $300.
Motorists can avoid violation fees and registration suspensions by paying their toll bills on time, using the award-winning Tolls NY free mobile application to pay tolls or manage their E-ZPass accounts. E-ZPass NY Customer Service Center account holders can save up to 40% at MTA tolled crossings by using E-ZPass. To set up an E-ZPass account or for more information, visit: www.ezpassny.com. NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law prohibits any covering or intentional distortion that obstructs the view of license plates.