Local News

DOT institutes new methods to collect unpaid tolls and fees

Posted December 29, 2013
Updated December 30, 2013

After Tony Micale's daughter drove on the Triangle Expressway, the state's first toll road, the Cary dad received a bill for 45 cents.

“So I kind of figured 45 cents, forgot about it,” he said.

The fine consisting of pocket change turned into a $37.45 bill, thanks to monthly fees and civil penalties.

That taught Micale to pay attention to even the smallest fines.

“FYI for all my fellow citizens out there that if you get this bill, sign onto the website, give them your credit card number,” he said.

Micale eventually took care of his bill, but there were 73,000 who had not as of November, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. That adds up to $815,000 in unpaid tolls and $5.9 million in unpaid fees and penalties.

The DOT wants its money.

The agency has set deadlines between Jan. 31 and March 31, depending on how much is owed, for residents to pay.

Those who do not pay their bills may be turned over to collections, which could affect their credit scores. Their tax refunds will also be garnished starting April 1, and vehicle registrations will placed on hold until payment is made.

The new collection strategy comes in addition to an annual rate increase.

Effective Jan. 1, NC Quick Pass customers will pay an additional 1 cent to 4 cents per toll reader depending on the section they’re driving on. Those paying by mail will see an increase of between 2 and 6 cents per toll reader.


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  • raleighdurham Dec 31, 2013

    the penalties are 7 times as high as the tolls...the DOT can wait for their money. it's a scam and i'll drive anywhere i have to to avoid their tolls.

  • kdawg Dec 31, 2013

    "It's just a Lib road designed to let you get on it without having to pay right then (like all lib programs and giveaways)"

    An alternate view would point out the reason this country has no tax dollars left to fund free roads is because we've run up massive debt in Iraq and Afghanistan, then deregulated corporate America and Wall Street to the point that they can get away with anything, pay no taxes, and drive the country to the economic brink, and both of those drains on our national ability to supply free roads have more to do with your preferred party than with "liberals." Stop blaming poor people and the middle class who still pay taxes for problems caused by the rich and a bought government. If you want to drive on a free road, move to Iraq. That's where your right-wing government borrowed money to build your "free" road.

  • TP4Real Dec 30, 2013

    Lets say i went into McDonalds took a burger then ate it"

    First, if it had already been paid for by all of the taxpayers of this state, then it would be a socialized burger and everyone would get one for free. We'd only need to pay sales taxes on it so that we could maintain the burger infrastructure. Secondly, generally speaking, you'd have to pay up front before anyone would hand you a burger. Should be the same for toll roads which would save on all those Lib fees and fines. It's just a Lib road designed to let you get on it without having to pay right then (like all lib programs and giveaways) and then, BAM! They hit you on the back end with exhorbitant fees and fines. That way they can keep you down and broke, and then offer you something else for free. It's an endless cycle of dependency that Republicans have been trying to break by forcing folks to take personal responsibility for themselves. If you can't AFFORD to use the roads, you should go another way.

  • moorej697 Dec 30, 2013

    If the NCDOT needs money , thet should talk to Wake County Schools. They have 800 million they don't need,

  • oakcity Dec 30, 2013

    Either way, once the Legislature finds out about it, you can be sure they'll step in and do something about it. Our roads should be privatized anyway.
    you do realize that this was approved by the legislature right? that this is a private - public partnership? and this is actually a path for privatized roads? I mean people that constantly preach "personal responsibility" would be the first to pay their bills on time, at least i would imagine that to be the case. Lets say i went into McDonalds took a burger then ate it, they would want to be paid right? But what if i said "I didn't know I had to pay"? Personal responsibility would say that I should have paid attention in the first place and common sense would say that restaurants don't give free food. Just like TOLL roads don't give free rides. If you don't want to pay the fee don't travel on the road. But you can't say you're for privatization of roads and then complain about a private road collecting tolls.

  • matt_wood Dec 30, 2013

    "I saw a toll road sign and of course, being the "new" kind, did not have to stop.'

    "We got TWO bills for toll roads I had NO idea I had been on."

    -- Strawberry letter

    You just said you saw the toll sign... so how did you not know you were on a toll road? It's pretty hard to get on this road by mistake, there are tons of big yellow signs that say, guess what? TOLL and BILL BY MAIL. If you can't read those signs, then you shouldn't be on the road.

    Those on here saying "taxes already paid for it" are obviously ignorant of how the road was actually funded, why it was funded that way, and why the tolls are necessary to pay for it. Sheesh.

    Oh, and it may not be that full now, but the areas through which it goes are being rapidly developed. It won't be too many years before it is as full as the other interstates and making more money. I think people would do well to think long-term rather than use the "me" and "now" mentality.

  • GravyPig Dec 30, 2013

    ""I'm not sure why you chose to single me out over a time approximation, which you even acknowledged in your own statement, but whatever. gravypig" Because like so many politicians, you exagerate to make a point, even when the exageration is blatently false. Some people call 'blatently false' a lie, but I didn't say that. You were trying to make it sound like you saved ooodles of time and, while you saved time, why exagerate it?"

    Really? I didn't know that I always exagerate things like politicians do. Glad I have some goon watchin' over my shoulder to document my falsehoods. You gonna put this one in my file too?

    I'm not sure why my comment out of all the comments needed your immediate attention. I said ABOUT 10 minutes, you say it takes 15. It's a savings of 15-20 minutes, so yeah oodles of time. So really, you are riding my backside over 5 minutes on an APPROXIMATION of time when you understood it all from the beginning?!?

  • TP4Real Dec 30, 2013

    Poor people don't use pay roads anyway. If you can't afford the fines, don't save the times.

  • TP4Real Dec 30, 2013

    We need to put Republicans in charge of this boondoggle and get the situation straightened out. It's a typical government nightmare and probably was designed by one of Bev's buddies just to make the next Governor look bad. Or the Transportation Secretary. Either way, once the Legislature finds out about it, you can be sure they'll step in and do something about it. Our roads should be privatized anyway. Government can't do anything nearly as good as private businesses. Just look at the NC Fairy System. The private fairies are the ones MAKING MONEY. All the Government Fairies run funny.

  • jcthai Dec 30, 2013

    No oleguy, the toll road is NOT a private road owned by a private company. The toll exists because everyone on that side of town was crying about not getting their section of 540 for another 10 to 15 years. So the legislature ok'd the toll and now you folks have your nice new spiffy road right now instead of way in the future.