Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today announced that the Senate has passed legislation he sponsors to raise penalties on drivers who try to evade tolls on toll roads, which costs millions of dollars in revenue each year. The legislation would make the penalty for evading a toll consistent with the penalties for evading other public fares such as subway and taxi fares.
“Drivers who evade paying tolls are breaking the law and ultimately we’re the ones who get stuck paying for their free ride. Making the law consistent by raising the penalty for evading tolls will ensure that toll dodgers pay the price for not paying their fair share,” said Senator Fuschillo, Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee.
Under current law, those who try to evade paying for other public transportation services, such as hopping a subway turnstile or jumping out of a taxi cab without paying, can be charged with theft of services, a class A misdemeanor. However, this does not apply to people who don’t pay their tolls while driving on the road.
Senator Fuschillo’s legislation would expand the current theft of services law to include evading tolls on a toll road. These drivers would then be subject to the same class A misdemeanor charges as everyone else who tries to avoid paying for their public transportation.
Toll dodgers cause millions of dollars in revenue loses. A March 28thDaily News article noted that the Port Authority alone lost over $6.6 million last year. The article noted that the top three scofflaws owed the Port Authority more than $130,000 combined.
The legislation has been sent to the Assembly for consideration.