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Turnpike to toll scofflaws: Pay up or lose registrations

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More than 10,000 motorists statewide could have their state registrations revoked if they fail to pay back the Pennsylvania Turnpike for outstanding toll violations and other debt.

Turnpike officials are giving toll scofflaws across the state a chance to make good on their bills before a new law takes effect next month, allowing the agency to suspend violators' registrations.

Act 165, which goes into force on Aug. 4, will apply to motorists with six or more outstanding toll invoices or violations, or unpaid tolls and fees totaling $500 or more.

Violations detailed

As of June 23, 10,611 Pennsylvania motorists met the Act 165 threshold for potential license suspension, collectively owing more than $17.1 million on 280,855 outstanding violations or invoices.

In the midstate, there were 11,238 outstanding bills representing about $720,000 in all:

• Lancaster County — 5,107 violations totaling $316,224.

• Dauphin County — 2,106 violations totaling $140,873.

• York County — 1,513 violations totaling $93,597.

• Cumberland County — 1,386 violations totaling $87,767.

• Lebanon County — 1,126 violations totaling $78,576.

Turnpike officials said the violators have been contacted directly.

"Last week, letters explaining our partial amnesty plan were mailed to those at imminent risk of suspension. While repeat violators may have ignored multiple past attempts to collect outstanding tolls and penalties, this is a notice they should not ignore," Turnpike CEO Mark Compton said.

The new law is an important new tool for an agency that has struggled to collect tens of millions of outstanding tolls as it grapples with mounting debt and the expense of maintaining a system that has parts dating back to 1940.

"Now, those who are habitually taking a free ride — both private and commercial drivers — will have to stop doing that, or risk a suspension," Compton said. "It’s simply not fair to those who do pay their fair share."

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Roger DuPuis

Roger DuPuis

Roger DuPuis covers Cumberland County, health care, transportation, distribution, energy and environment. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at rdupuis@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @rogerdupuis2.

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