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$40 fines for those not paying bridge tolls on time? ‘That’s way outrageous,” driver says

520 Bridge

520 Bridge

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.”

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3 comments

  • Big John Stankus

    No….it’s not $40 for crossing the bridge, it’s $40 for thinking that you are above the law and thinking you can do whatever you want. If you had paid the toll in the first place – or used a different route – that $40 stays in your pocket. Personal Accountability folks…..learn it

  • Gloria Anton

    You avoid this by stopping at a grocery store and picking up the Good To Go Pass, and charge it with money that you need to cross the bridge! Problem solved, no more “late outrageous fees!” Geesh

  • Shaun

    The problem isn’t at all with the good to go pass nor being “above the law” and thinking that way is a bit closed minded.

    The problem is in that this is not just a few people having to deal with the late fees. Read forums on Reddit or other similar websites that discuss the tolling issue. There are other news stories about toll bills not being sent out at all or cars not being added to the Good to Go pass when the office has been called and car information provided. There are numerous issues in the administration of the program that need to be addressed.

    And you have to admit, $40 on a $5 fine is overboard and borderline extortion. Unpaid parking tickets aren’t even marked up to that amount.


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