Updated:Georgia 400 toll violators have racked up more than $2 million in fees owed to the state over the last three years. Now, the agency responsible for collecting those revenues is trying to collect.
The State Road and Tollway Authority of Georgia announced that it has designated June as a month of amnesty for motorists who have used Georgia 400 without paying the 50-cent toll. For a limited time, SRTA is offering partial amnesty to violators with outstanding balances the opportunity to clear their violations for a reduced amount.
"In this case, amnesty doesn't mean we are not going to collect money due the state," explains Gena Evans, SRTA's executive director. "We have negotiated with people with large administrative fee amounts in the past, but beginning June 1, we want to take it a step further by giving violators a chance to settle their toll debts in full with those fees reduced to a flat rate."
Over 63,000 drivers, many of whom accrued multiple violations, have failed to pay their tolls, representing over $2 million in outstanding revenue owed to the state. Starting June 1, SRTA will reduce the administrative fee per violation from $25.00 to $15.00 for unpaid violations incurred from Jan. 1, 2007 through June 30, 2010. Payments made prior to June 1 will not be refunded during this amnesty period.
SRTA does not negotiate with violators whose violations have been the subject of an order by the Office of State Administrative Hearings. These violators are not eligible for amnesty.
WSB-TV's Tony Thomas tracked down some of the worst violators.
SRTA records indicate Stefani Silverman racked up the most violations since Jan. 1, 2007. According to the documents, a vehicle registered to Silverman passed through the toll plaza 685 times without paying the toll. Adding in the $25 administration fee, Silverman's debt to to SRTA is listed as $17,467.50.
Michael Greer is second on the list. Records indicate a vehicle registered to Greer passed through the toll plaza 559 times without paying the toll since Jan. 1, 2007. Adding in the violation fee, Greer's debt to SRTA is listed as $14,254.50.
The amnesty period ends at the close of business on Wednesday, June 30. Payments, which must be postmarked by that date, may be made out to SRTA and mailed to SRTA Violations Department, P. O. Box 2105, Atlanta, GA 30303-2105. Payments may also be made via telephone by credit card through the Customer Service Center at 404-893-6161 (with a $2.00 processing fee) or online by credit card for no additional cost. Payments are not accepted at the Toll Plaza.
In an additional effort to enforce the proper use of the Georgia 400 toll road, beginning July 1, SRTA will recognize all unpaid tolls as violations including those which occur in the cash lanes where previously drivers who couldn't pay were issued a paper "insufficient toll ticket."