Published on Thursday, October 26, 2006
in the WSVN News
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY. Fla. (WSVN) -- The Florida Highway Patrol will be cracking down on drivers who are getting free rides on the Florida Turnpike.
As a part of the "Toll Abuse -- No Excuse" campaign, FHP has joined with the Florida Turnpike in an effort to stop drivers from racing through the SunPass Lane of the turnpike without paying.
FHP officials say most violators are using their SunPasses incorrectly on purpose. "What we're finding is that a large number of commercial motor vehicles -- dump trucks, tractor trailers, whatever -- are going through these facilities without having their SunPass present or properly mounted, and intentionally violating SunPass lane restrictions," said Lt. Chris Dellapietra of the FHP.
Troopers will be randomly stationed at Turnpike toll plazas throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties giving citations to anyone who violates toll regulations. "In most cases, a citation for violation of tolls is a $103.50 fine and will be three points on that driver's record," Dellapietra said.
Tolls are used to help improve and maintain the Turnpike and officials say, to be fair, all tolls need to be paid. "Ninety-nine percent of our customers are good customers," said Sonyha Rodriguez-Miller, spokesperson for the Florida's Turnpike. "They are honest people who do the right thing and they pay their fair share. But, we have 1% out there that is continuously going through the tolls, and we are coming down on them."
Last year alone the turnpike lost $20 million to toll violations.