SEATTLE — The state Department of Transportation is raking in millions of dollars in fines from drivers who fail to pay tolls.
Drivers have up to 80 days to pay the toll until a $40 fine is tacked on.
In 2013, $125 million in tolls was collected. A big chunk of that money includes $11 million in paid fines and another $34 million that hasn’t been collected.
The toll money is collected from the 520 Bridge, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and the HOV lanes on State Route 167. State tolling officials say the $40 fine is similar to a parking ticket. The is put on each time you cross the bridge if you don’t pay it within the given time.
“I think a lot of things need to change,” says Jenny Dougherty, who received a $40 fine but claims that she never received a bill in the mail. “They kind of blamed it on the mail.”
She paid the fine and feels she shouldn’t have to if it was a mistake on their part.
Some feel the fine is too high.
Gloria Cogswell, a commuter on the 520 Bridge, says, “It’s just like if you are late for a bill or late for your car insurance. You’re late for anything, it’s like a $5 or $10 fee — that’s normal. But a $40 fee? That’s way outrageous. It’s like you are paying 50 bucks to go over the bridge.”