(WHDH) — Drivers tell 7 Investigates they got sticker shock when they were hit with outrageously high fees for not paying their tolls on time. Now some are calling for the system to change. Hank Phillippi Ryan has the story.
Jason spends every day in his truck.
It’s how the busy New Hampshire contractor gets from job to job.
“I’m on the road almost all the time,” Jason said.
He got an EZ Pass transponder to save time.
But one day a red light signaled that he had toll trouble.
He contacted EZ Pass and found out he owed more than $7000.
“I was just absolutely dumbfounded,” Jason said.
Only $300 was actual tolls.
The rest were late fees!
“I couldn’t even understand how in the world that was even possible,” Jason said.
How did Jason rack up so many unpaid tolls without knowing it?
He signed up to get text alerts when onhis account got low on money, but he never received any.
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation says it emailed and mailed him notices but Jason says he never got them.
Jason admits he owed the tolls but more than $7,000 in late fees?
He had to slam the breaks on that.
We found New Hampshire has no limit to the amount of money it can charge if you don’t pay your tolls.
And dozens of people are complaining about it online.
Onedriver washit with fees of more than $9000.
Another, more than $10,000.
“That’s insanity. I mean, that’s exorbitant.It’s nothing short of highway robbery,” Mary Connaughton said. She is a former board member of theMass Turnpike Authority and currently the Chief Operating Officer at the Pioneer Institute.
She said states can suspend people’s licenses and registrations if they don’t pay so there’s no reason to hit them with exorbitant fees.
“The goal is for government to serve the people, but not to scare the people,” Mary said.
A few years ago, drivers complained about the same fees in Massachusetts being too high and the state limited them to $500 a year.
“New Hampshire should definitely cap these fines and follow Massachusetts’ lead in doing so,” Mary said.
“I think it can destroy people’s lives. I don’t think that they should ever be able to charge that much. I definitely think it should change,” Jason said. The New Hampshire DOT tells us it’s a driver’s responsibility to pay their tolls on time, if they don’t, they face the fees. Drivers can appeal to try to cut those fees. That’s what Jason did and his bill dropped to $512 which he has now paid.
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