Illinois State Tollway officials have published its Scofflaws List with the names of deadbeat drivers who owe more than $1,000 in unpaid fines for freeloading. The Scofflaws went public after Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law.
“Tolls are a significant source of revenue for maintaining and improving our region’s transportation system, and our Board understands that every dollar counts,” Tollway Board Chair Paula Wolff noted in a statement provided to Yahoo News that underscored its “zero-tolerance policy” for toll cheats.
The banner across the top of the state page reads, “List of Super Scofflaws. Learn more.”
The Tollway points out that 98 percent of Tollway users pay their bills on time.
The Illinois Tollway says it has named 157 businesses that collectively owe $3.7 million, resorting to this after contacting the businesses nine times over the course of nine months to two years. Number one on the list: Landa Transport Inc., a trucking business that the Tollway says owes $215,000 in unpaid tolls.
“I could pretty much guarantee that we do not owe that much because we don’t have that kind of equipment to generate that kind of money,” Landa’s operations manager Eddie Garza told the Chicago Tribune. “We don’t even spend that (amount) in fuel, let alone tolls.”
Garza noted that the trucks are equipped with I-Pass transponders, which are read by the toll plazas and billed to a credit card attached to the account.
Violators can get off the list by calling a number on the website to resolve the debt.
This list comes with some controversy by the alleged debtors.
Representatives from several of the businesses said the Tollway’s claims are inaccurate and that their companies were being unjustly flogged in public.
No. 1 on the Tollway’s list is Landa Transport Inc., a trucking company based in Frankfort. The Tollway has sued the company to collect $214,859.10 in unpaid tolls and fines.
“Clearly when you are looking at almost $215,000, that is more than a simple mistake and it seems to be someone who does not want to pay,” Lafleur said.
The list will be updated quarterly, officials said, adding that there are no plans to create a public list of individual, nonbusiness-related violators.