$11.4 million. That’s how much money in toll violations is still outstanding in the State of Delaware since Fiscal Year 2005.
While there’s a significant amount of unpaid fines in that number, it’s the actual unpaid tolls state officials worry about.
Money collected from tolls in Delaware goes directly back into roads and infrastructure projects according to DMV Director Scott Vien.
“The majority of what is made up in uncollected tolls and fines is the fine itself. And so, we count on, from a revenue perspective, that toll; whether it be $1, $3, 25-cents, depending on which toll, $4, depending on which toll you go through. So that’s what we’re counting on when we’re projecting out revenue projections,” said Vien.
DelDOT Communications Director C.R. McLeod says more than $200 million dollars in tolls DelDOT collects annually is one piece of its over $900 dollar million budget. He says successfully collecting the outstanding fines only helps DelDOT accomplish more.
And the state hopes you’ll pay the toll because not paying can be costly. Vien points out that if a $1 toll goes unpaid, the violator gets an initial $50 fine. If that goes unpaid and the DMV sends out a second notice, an additional $37.50 is added on to the fine.
Vien says his agency is currently looking at other enforcement strategies to collect unpaid tolls if violation notices go ignored and unpaid.
“We’re also looking at new methods and entering into agreements with surroundings states. So, we’re working hard with Pennsylvania right now to set up a toll-enforcement reciprocity with them and help them hold their drivers accountable for our violations and they’ll help us in reverse,” Vien said.
In 2017, Vien says the total toll violation revenue collected was $7.6 million dollars. He says since, FY2005, they've collected $29.9 million in toll violations.
Currently, the top five toll violators in Delaware owe the State an estimated $407,000.