Sidebar: Out-of-state drivers owe Md. $102 million in video tolls, fines

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Photo by Paul Hamilton with Flickr Creative Commons License

This is a sidebar to the story “Maryland charges big fines for skipping small tolls”

The Maryland Transportation Authority is also in the process of contracting for a collections agency to go after out-of-state drivers, which is expected to be implemented sometime after the 3G transition.

Earlier this year, the state said out-of-state drivers have racked up $102 million in unpaid video tolls and fines.

Del. Al Carr said that the solution should instead be negotiating agreements with neighboring jurisdictions to flag vehicle registrations at renewal of drivers who haven’t paid Maryland tolls. It’s something the state is working on but the MDTA has argued that establishing reciprocal agreements is difficult because there are many different tolling agencies and some states have many different agencies like Virginia where there are 15 tolling entities. Each state also has different late payment policies, including some that are harsher than Maryland’s.

Massachusetts has six reciprocal agreements in place, and though they are all different, usually the regulations of the tolling state apply, according to MassDOT.

Still, Carr believes that those obstacles can be overcome through negotiation instead of going after even more drivers with civil penalties.