Carlucci & Abinanti Call On Governor Cuomo to Sign Toll Payer Protection Act

David Carlucci

December 21, 2018

Cashless Tolling System Set to Expand Statewide & no System in Place to Protect Drivers

Tarrytown, NY  – Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) and Assemblyman Tom Abinanti (D-Greenburgh/Mt. Pleasant) joined together inTarrytown to call on Governor Cuomo to sign the “Toll Payer Protection Act” (A9805/S8946) into law.

The call-to-action came shortly after the Governor announced the expansion of cashless tolling on all fixed price toll barriers on the New York State Thruway.

“The Governor announced today his progress in expanding cashless tolling to Spring Valley and New Rochelle, so I think it fitting that he sign our Toll Payer Protection Act into law,” said Senator David Carlucci. “We need a fair and efficient billing system in place that protects our drivers under the law. No one should be driven into debt or have their registration suspended due to toll by mail bills.”

“This legislation would establish a reasonable user friendly process to ensure that motorists receive timely notices and can easily pay their toll bills. It would ban the unconscionable practices of suspending vehicle registrations and imposing exorbitant fines and penalties on vehicle owners,” said Assemblyman Tom Abinanti. “The cashless tolling systems are not specifically authorized by New York State law and are of questionable legality.”

The Toll Payer Protection Act responds to numerous complaints about the chaotic cashless tolling system used by the Thruway Authority, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the Port Authority.

Many vehicle owners claimed they never received their toll bills in the mail or were already sent to collections by the time they realized they had an outstanding bill.

Additionally, many drivers said the fines and fees were higher than the tolls themselves, leaving them owing thousands to multiple collections agencies.

This legislation will ensure that vehicle owners are properly notified of tolls, protected against exorbitant penalties and safeguarded against auto-registration suspensions for failing to pay a toll.

Both lawmakers noted that if the current system were working on behalf of drivers then fines would not exceed actual toll fares collected by the State. According to analysis by the Journal News, since cashless tolling began in April of 2016, the Thruway Authority collected more in fines than in fares from July 2017 to January 2018. On average, toll by mail bills made the Thruway Authority about a $1 million a month in revenue.