PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s now one year since the Pennsylvania Turnpike started cracking down on habitual toll cheats.READ MORE: Neighbors Want Liquor Control Board To Take Action Against Bar In Carnegie
The Turnpike is now allowed to essentially suspend a Pennsylvania driver’s registration if the driver routinely avoids paying tolls.
CBS Philadelphia discovered some out-of-state toll cheats still owe the Turnpike tens of thousands of dollars.
Documents from the Turnpike show Kaars Inc. of Trenton is among the top toll cheats.
“We need people to pay their bills,” said Turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo.
He says while most drivers do pay the toll, some evade tolls by driving through E-ZPass lanes without an E-ZPass account.
DeFebo also says Kaars Inc. owes $24,444.66 in tolls and fees and despite a recent change in state law.READ MORE: 2 Allegheny County Lawmakers Introduce Plan To Allow Legal Recreational Marijuana Use In State
Back in Aug. 2017, Pennsylvania legislators amended a law to suspend a driver’s registration if the driver has six or more toll violations or accumulates more than $500 in violations.
“It gave us some teeth, some consequence to go after those egregious violators,” said DeFebo.
Since the law went into effect over the last year, 232 drivers considered habitual toll cheats had their registrations suspended.
The Turnpike cannot suspend the registration of alleged toll cheats from out-of-state, like Kaars Inc.
Reporter Matt Petrillo asked a Kaars employee, “How does a company wrack up more than $24,000 in tolls and fees?”
“You’ve got the wrong company,” said Jerry Palmisano, who works as a dispatcher and says he’s seen the book that doesn’t show any debt to the Turnpike.
Efforts to reach the company’s owner were unsuccessful.MORE NEWS: Allegheny County Council Approves Plan To Spent Nearly $100 Million From American Rescue Plan
Now, the Turnpike says it’s trying to work with other states so it could go after all habitual toll cheats. It’s close to securing a reciprocal agreement with Delaware. It hopes to have that put into place by the end of the year.