Investigation: ETX drivers owe thousands in unpaid Loop 49 tolls
Loop 49 Transactions since 2007
SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -
The latest segment of Toll 49 is scheduled to open in late March. Segments of the road have been opening up periodically for the last six years, but the Texas Department of Transportation hasn't been collecting all the money drivers are supposed to pay for using the road.
Multiple people owe the state tens of thousands of a dollars in unpaid fees and fines they've racked up while driving on the toll road.
TxDOT says, "Transportation Code, §228.057(e) states, 'Electronic toll collection customer account information, including contact and payment information and trip data, is confidential and not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552.101, Government Code.'"
Collectively, the top 10 Loop 49 violators owe the state more than $240,000 and the state is taking legal action against them. The top 10 aren't the only people the state is pursing.
So far this year, at least 22 cases have been brought before a judge in Smith County JP court. All but six of those people have entered some kind of payment agreement. The other six didn't show up for their court date.
Next month, another 12 people are scheduled to appear before a judge regarding their toll violations.
TxDOT says, since 2007, when the first segment of the toll road opened, it has been traveled more than 9.9 million times. That number has been steadily increasing each year.
TxDOT says the Statue of Limitations for a Failure to Pay Toll case is two years from the due date of the Notice of Toll Violation. Once the statute of limitations has expired, the violator cannot be prosecuted.