Harrisburg – Legislation that includes a provision sponsored by Senator John C. Rafferty, Jr. (R-44) and Senator Jay Costa, Jr. (D-43) to help the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission collect more than $5 million in unpaid tolls was signed into law today by Gov. Tom Wolf.
House Bill 2025 was amended to include language from Senate Bill 1086, sponsored by Senator Rafferty and Senator Costa, requiring the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to suspend the vehicle registration of motorists who fail to pay six or more violations for eluding tolls.
“In 2016, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission already lost $5.4 million in unpaid tools, fees and costs,” said Rafferty, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. “We needed this legislation to provide the Commission with a better way to recoup the revenue loss from intentional scofflaws who abuse the fair-share payment method that supports the current and anticipated needs of the Turnpike system.”
Presently, the Commission can only place uncollected tolls with a collections agency, unlike other state agencies and authorities in the Commonwealth. The new law will allow PennDOT to suspend the registration of motorists who fail to pay tolls on the Turnpike until the motorist makes the payment.
“Millions of drivers each year rely on the Turnpike for safe and efficient travel,” said Costa. “This legislation gives us the ability to collect funds from drivers who are not paying tolls as required so that we can reinvest those resources back into the Turnpike system.”
The importance of this legislation was reflective of a primary recommendation from the Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s performance audit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission in September 2016, which suggested the increase in toll violations may lead to additional financial problems for the Turnpike.
CONTACT: Nolan Ritchie (717) 787-1398