The Illinois Tollway began posting the names of toll violators with over $1,000 in fines on its website Wednesday, according to an Illinois Tollway press release.
The list will be updated quarterly. The Tollway has filed lawsuits against the 157 businesses on the list in circuit court, as well as an estimated dollar amount for each. In all, the violations total nearly $3.7 million, according to the news release.
The list includes 47 businesses who owe less than $5,000, 36 who owe from $5,000 to $9,999, 34 who owe $10,000 to $24,999, 17 who owe $25,000 to $49,999, 15 who owe $50,000 to $99,999 and eight who owe $100,000 or more.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed Senate Bill 1214 on Tuesday, which allows the Illinois Tollway to publish the names of toll violators owing $1,000 or more on the agency’s website.
"Tolls are a significant source of revenue for maintaining and improving our region’s transportation system, and our Board understands that every dollar counts,” said Tollway Board Chair Paula Wolff in the news release. “I want to thank members of the General Assembly and the Governor for their support of this initiative, which reinforces the Tollway’s zero-tolerance policy against toll scofflaws.”
Last September, the Tollway launched a crackdown on toll violations by filing administrative judgments against accused violators in court. Through this initiative, the tollway has filed 187 administrative judgments and collected nearly $500,000.
“The Tollway is committed to using every option available to us to try to collect millions of dollars in unpaid tolls and fines from delinquent drivers,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur in the press release. “Anything less would be unfair to the 98 percent of Tollway customers who pay their tolls on time.”
Up to this point, the Illinois Tollway has contacted each of those on the list at least nine times and offered them multiple opportunities to enter into a settlement agreement, including the option to use a payment plan to settle their debts, according to the news release.
Overall, the entire process takes from nine months to more than two years, beginning with the time a violator receives the first violation notice from the tollway until the point at which a judgment is filed in court.
The tollway has also started to work with the Illinois Comptroller’s office to withhold tax returns from some the agency’s most egregious violators.
Violators should contact the phone number listed on their collection agency notices for more information about how to resolve their debt. To view a detailed timeline that includes typical milestones in the collections process for violators who do not pay their violation notices on time, please visit www.illinoistollway.com.
Source: Illinois Tollway press release, Illinois Tollway website, Illinois Tollway Super Scofflaws list