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MTA Bridge and Tunnel Officers Interdict 26 Vehicles of Persistent Toll Violators Who Owe Nearly $700,000

Updated July 27, 2023 5:15 p.m.
A bridge at sunrise. The bridge does not have people or cars on it.

Operation on Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge Interdicted 26 Vehicles in Four Hours

Portable License Plate Readers Used for First Time in Targeted Enforcement

Year-to Date Interdictions Surpasses Total of Last Year


Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bridges and Tunnels (MTA B&T) today announced that its officers interdicted 26 vehicles registered to persistent toll violators at the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge on Tuesday, July 25, despite the heavy rain that interrupted the operation for over an hour. The scofflaws accounted for nearly $700,000 in unpaid tolls and fees. Tuesday’s operation involved the use of portable license plate readers, which were recently acquired by the Agency to expand monitoring efforts across all B&T facilities and advance the capability of recovering toll revenue. One of the top persistent toll violators from this targeted enforcement owes $47,224 in tolls and fees.

There have already been six targeted enforcement operations conducted in July and as of Wednesday, July 26, officers interdicted 99 vehicles belonging to persistent toll violators for the month, who collectively owe $2.3 million in unpaid tolls and fees. Between Jan. 1 and July 26, 1,949 vehicles have been intercepted (an 82% year-to-date increase), surpassing the total of 1,880 vehicles that were interdicted in all of last year. Bridge and Tunnel officers have also issued 1,846 summonses for covered or obstructed license plates since the beginning of the year.

“We have already surpassed the total number of vehicles we had interdicted last year,” said MTA Bridges and Tunnels Interim President Catherine Sheridan. “This is a testament to our ongoing efforts and how we build on our enforcement strategies, including the use of new technology.”

“We are always exploring new avenues for advancing our operations,” said MTA Bridges and Tunnels Vice President & Chief of Operations Richard L. Hildebrand II. “These portable license plate readers are an example of how new technology can be integrated to assist our targeted efforts, and with the support of our regional law enforcement partners, we are delivering on our commitment to make sure everyone is paying their fair share.”

The new portable license plate readers expand on the use of Bridge and Tunnel patrol vehicles equipped with specialized license plate readers that identify motorists operating vehicles with a suspended registration due to unpaid tolls.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels, through tolls and fees collected, have recovered more than 90% of the tolls owed by recidivist toll scofflaws since the inception of its DMV Registration Suspension Program.

This enforcement aligns with a coordinated strategy by MTA B&T and city and state law enforcement partners, who announced a joint effort against obstructed and counterfeit license plates last year. In 2022, MTA Bridges and Tunnels interdicted 1,880 vehicles for unpaid tolls.

Since the start of Open Road Tolling, Bridge and Tunnel officers have interdicted more than 8,600 vehicles for persistent non-payment of tolls.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels uses a variety of tools to identify violators and interdict vehicles:

  • DMV registration suspensions
  • Robust roadside interdictions
  • Data-driven intelligence to continuously identify persistent toll violators

Motorists can avoid violation fees and registration suspensions by paying their toll bills on time, using the award-winning Tolls NY free mobile application to pay tolls or manage their E-ZPass accounts. E-ZPass NY Customer Service Center account holders can save up to 40% at MTA B&T tolled crossings by using E-ZPass. To set up an E-ZPass account or for more information, visit www.ezpassny.com. NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law prohibits any covering or coating that intentionally conceals, obscures, or distorts an image of license plates.