Public Shaming Complete, NTTA Now Wants to Boot Your Car

Categories: Transportation

CarBoot.jpg
NTTA better start stocking up now, because it's got a lot of wheels to boot.
A few years back, the North Texas Tollway Authority took out those pesky toll booths and replaced them with cameras that, if you happen not to have a toll tag, snap a picture of your license plate and helpfully send you a bill -- or send a bill to the address at which the car you are driving is registered.

The new system would be easier to use, but as Michael Lindenberger wrote last week, the NTTA wasn't simply being kindhearted. Rather, it made the change "with dollar signs in its eyes, and blinders on. It was given advice that said that the cameras it would use to track down the owners of vehicles on its roads that it could count on the revenue flowing in like so much melted gold."

Except that didn't happen. There are more riders, sure, but it turns out that some people just don't pay when you send them a bill. A lot of people, in fact, as the NTTA reminded us last week with its public shaming educational campaign of naming the 25,000 or so top toll violators.

It's already considering civil suits against the most egregious violators. But due process takes so much time and costs a lot of money, so the agency is angling for other options. NTTA executive director Gerry Carrigan summed up the strategy before the Regional Transporation Council on Thursday as "block, ban, and boot."

The block refers to registration. As in drivers who ignore their NTTA bill will be unable to renew their vehicle's registration. "Ban," of course, means repeat offenders won't be allowed to use toll roads, though Carrigan didn't specify how exactly this would be enforced. And "boot" is also self-explanatory.

"It's probably a last resort, but for those who have seen 'Parking Wars,' it's probably an effective tool," Carrigan said.

Michael Morriss, transportation director for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, gave NTTA's efforts a nod of approval, but the blocking and booting at least require legislative approval. Carrigan said the agency will push for it during the next session.

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28 comments
jokerz2658
jokerz2658

So i have a toll tag sticker, went through the toll tag booth, and was told when I was exiting that the Toll tag is not picking up the sticker. Didn't have cash on me, and i was billed for extra. Is this fair? I have plenty of money in the toll tag account. 2$ became 10$. This isn't right, what if it happens again? Why do they get away with this. What should I do?

Ricky Hollywood
Ricky Hollywood

 Why should i have to pay for a road that is already paid for?  If you don't like your job, start looking for another one.

Jim
Jim

WEALTH?!?!?!?!? HAHAHAHAHAH!!!! We at the NTTA don't get raises, our pay is lower than market and we don't have company functions like other normal companies. Why!? Because people like you STEAL from us and ride on our toll roads without paying.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall

March 2010 -  Last week, both the Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) and the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) approved a deal to use ALL Texas taxpayers (our state gas taxes) as collateral for toll roads in North Texas.  TxDOT exploited a "loophole" that was supposed to prohibit tolling existing roads for US 281, US 290, among others (watch it here). TxDOT also exploited the prohibition against selling our highways to foreign corporations through private toll contracts called CDAs by usinganother financing mechanism meant for local governments (called pass through financing) to accomplish the same thing. Yep - keep electing "no taxes" Gov Goodhair and his posse of crony capitalists; what ever happened to Texas politicians who told the public the truth and did the right thing for the state.

Phelps
Phelps

I disagree 100%.  They already have plenty of tools.  They are crying because the vast majority of the "lost" money is not in tolls, but in "penalties" and "violations."  They don't want to go to court for it, because they know that almost every jury is going to throw out their BS "$50 fine for a $.75 toll" penalties and just award them the toll amount. That's why they have to go to extremes like this.  It's penny-ante bullshit that doesn't deserve a "full court press".

Mike
Mike

NTTA is owned by the State of Texas and cannot take actions not authorized by the Legislture. I agree the Lege ought to authorize a full court press of public (booting, holding up renewals) and private (suits, credit scores, and suits) to get these dirt bags.

Keith Pitts
Keith Pitts

 I hate this more than anything. Once the roads are payed for, NTTA should not be charging tolls on that road. We pay enough in gas taxes, registration, and other taxes to support these roads. It's like the tolls are just going to pay these NTTA guys their salaries as they go along not paying tolls like the rest of us...

Matthew Gunter
Matthew Gunter

Because they removed the tolls once it was paid for.....

watchingsouthdetroit
watchingsouthdetroit

NTTA is the closest thing to organized crime that we have here. The political hacks and their contractor cronies make a ton of money off the citizens but they are accountable to no one.  The FBI should run a full audit and investigation right after they finish with John Wiley Price.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall

Sorry should have done more research, NTTA is "political subdivision of the State of Texas under Chapter 366 of the Transportation Code, the NTTA is empowered to acquire, construct, maintain, repair and operate turnpike projects; to raise capital for construction projects through the issuance of Turnpike Revenue Bonds; and to collect tolls to operate, maintain and pay debt service on those projects."    It's run by a bunch of politically appointed cronies with some questionable business ethics and questionable business skills http://transportationblog.dallasnews.com/2011/10/ntta-fbi-investigating-board-m.html/  Aug 2009:   Jorge Figueredo North Texas Tollway Authority's executive director resigned the $260,000-a-year post voluntarily,  continues to be paid for up to 12 months. Oct 2011: NTTA fires Jon Allen Clemson gives Clemson six months’ salary, plus healthcare till April 30, 2012.  Clemson agreed to not sue NTTA and to keep its secrets secret.  

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall

NTTA is not a government entity, NTTA is not a law enforcement entity; any charges or fines are owed to a private company not the state.  If an elected official grants these crooks the right to boot cars or block registration you MUST vote them out of office.   This is a business plan the NTTA choose if it's a failed plan then it's on them not on the public to bail their ass out.

Arnold Lenoris Davis Junior
Arnold Lenoris Davis Junior

Okay NTTA wants to boot your car. So they are going to come on to private property and do it? I can see the Jim Adler ads running on KDFI right now. There is no way in hell a public agency is going to be allowed on private property to "boot" a vehicle. If shopping centers were smart, they would make all their parking lots "private property" and see if NTTA tries that crap.

Chaska Norwood
Chaska Norwood

if people would just get a tolltag or NOT take the TOLLWAY then this would not be a problem or an issue... I say BOOT those slackers cars... if you don't want to deal with tolls & consequences of not paying tolls then get off the friggin TOLLWAY, Duh! js...

Chrissy Cummons Allmann
Chrissy Cummons Allmann

When you owe 100K plus like some of these idiots, you deserve some type of ramifications. It's not hard to do the right thing. If you don't want to pay then take the free roads. I am sure they only "boot" your car in severe circumstances.

TEXASBRED50
TEXASBRED50

In 1970, it cost  .30 to travel the length of the old turnpike from Dallas to Ft. Worth.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I wish I had your schedule. It's pretty steady from 7-9 and 4-6 when I'm on it.

Phelps
Phelps

That's the most irking thing about this.  You would think that the NTTA was underwater and losing huge percentages of revenue to scofflaws.  Unfortunately, their annual reports are open to the public, and tell another story: https://www.ntta.org/whatwedo/fin_invest_info/financial_Info/Pages/Financial-Information.aspx  Zipcash revenue (the non tolltag people) is steadily increasing.  The system is collecting over $440M a year.  Moving to Zipcash has reduced costs to the point that even with the scofflaws (who were still able to avoid the tollbooths by the tolltag lanes) the system is recovering more net revenue. Also look at the April 2012 presentation to the board.  Set aside the BS "violations" section (that's where they want to charge you $50 for a $1.50 toll because they sent it to the wrong address.)  Look at the actual tolls.  Over 75% of the tolls are current.  Less than 1% of outstanding tolls are older than 90 days.   At the end of the day, the system is solvent, is collecting at a fair rate already, and the majority of this "lost revenue" is bullshit "violations" that they can't even call fines.

Phelps
Phelps

Or 25,000 shotguns cocking for the trespassers who look a hell of a lot like car thieves in the dark.

Phelps
Phelps

I pay my fair share.  I have a tolltag. That doesn't mean that I support giving a private company the right to violate other people's property.  There are methods for collecting the debt (civil suits).  NTTA needs to suck it up and use them.

Phelps
Phelps

It's right there in the article.  "due process takes so much time and costs a lot of money" NTTA wants a way to exercise power against The People cheaper and quicker.  My response to that is the same as to every bureaucrat who thinks the constitution makes their job too tough.  Fuck you. You're a private corporation.  That lets you be agile and get around a lot of the rules that government agencies have to follow.  You don't get to have the best of both worlds and also get all the benefits of a government agency.  Figure out which one you want to be and stick with it.

David Hernandez Jr
David Hernandez Jr

This wouldn't be necessary if they wouldn't have removed the damn toll booths to begin with. Down with The NTTA.

Susan Durham
Susan Durham

Don't think they have the authority to do that or anything else, except civil enforcement.

Adam Reyna
Adam Reyna

I'm all in favor. Maybe that means we will get a Parking Wars: Dallas now!

Seth Wolf
Seth Wolf

Boots are pointless. They are easy to remove.

Marc C. Socolov
Marc C. Socolov

Where's the "agreement" to be an upstanding citizen and pay when you use the tollway? And, I am sure there will be a benchmark amount that is owed before that is even a consideration.

Scott Strong
Scott Strong

Where's the agreement that we sign with the NTTA stating we allow them to charge usury fines and vandalize our automobiles like this?

Conchords
Conchords

 @SunsetNTTA

 How is NTTA foreign owned? Also, does that apply to foreign car manufacturers too?

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