SJTA To Begin Registration Suspension for Toll Violators
Hamilton Township, NJ - Following the lead of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTP) and continuing Governor Christie’s directive to aggressively collect unpaid tolls, the South Jersey Transportation Authority (SJTA) will work with the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) to suspend the vehicle registration for motorists who are toll violators. The NJTP began a similar pilot program on March 29, 2012 for motorists on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.
Beginning Wednesday August 15, 2012, the SJTA will forward the names of New Jersey drivers and companies who owe at least $200.00 in unpaid tolls on the Atlantic City Expressway. The MVC will then send a notice of impending registration suspension for approximately 150 violators who owe tolls up to $2600.00. This does not include approximately $750,000.00 in fees that is also owed to the SJTA.
“The companies and individuals whose registrations we’re moving to suspend are chronic toll violators who have ignored every effort we’ve made to get them to pay. Last fall we announced that this step was coming and we spent the past few months working with the Motor Vehicle Commission to implement this pilot program while at the same time giving these violators every opportunity to make good on what they owe,” said SJTA Chairman and DOT Commissioner James Simpson. “Since they’ve ignored every notice we’ve sent and every effort we’ve made to collect, now they’ll have to face the consequences. It’s not fair to the honest drivers who pay what they owe to let these tolls go unpaid.”
“Suspending registrations of toll violators is in addition to other toll enforcement actions we have undertaken at the Authority,” said Sam Donelson, Acting Executive Director of the SJTA. “This enforcement includes motor vehicle summons issued by the New Jersey State Police as part of our surveillance program and criminally prosecuting certain offenders for Theft of Services.”
The South Jersey Transportation Act outlines penalties for failure to pay tolls and includes a provision that “every registration certificate and every license certificate to drive motor vehicles may be suspended or revoked and any person may be prohibited from obtaining a driver's license or a registration certificate” and gives the Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission the power to enforce the prescribed penalties.
The SJTA will provide the MVC with evidence of the violations, including names, addresses and license plate numbers of violators, along with the number of violations and the amount of tolls and fees owed. The MVC will mail each violator a Scheduled Registration Suspension Notice to inform them that their registrations will be suspended in 25 days and will include a telephone number to call for payment.
If violators make payment arrangements acceptable to the SJTA, they will avoid a registrations suspension. If violators fail to make payment arrangements their registration will be suspended and will remain suspended until outstanding tolls and fees are paid.
Owners who operate a vehicle with a suspended registration face severe penalties under state law that includes fines, additional suspension periods and jail time. In addition, the vehicle may be impounded by law enforcement.
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