The Illinois Tollway is taking the worst toll violators to court. The agency’s trying to collect more than $300 million from delinquent drivers.
Some have been avoiding toll payments for more than a decade, and even after receiving several notices to pay up, those violators continue to blow through the toll booths.
So for the first time, the Illinois Tollway is taking them to court.
Executive Director Kristi Lafleur says the agency has exhausted all options to collect the millions of dollars it’s owed.
"Ultimately after multiple tollway violation notices they don’t respond, we refer those cases to collection companies. And the collection companies will also send out multiple notices and make phone calls and they’ve been offered multiple opportunities to enter into settlement agreements," she said.
Lafleur says only two percent of tollway users are in violation, and about 50 lawsuits are being filed for this first round.
The agency allows drivers to miss tolls up to three times before receiving a violation notice. An estimated 550,000 unique license plates are associated with violations as of July 2012.
Lafleur says people still have the chance to avoid the legal action by contacting the agency to work out a payment.