Targeted Enforcement Effort on Cross Bay Veterans Memorial and Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridges Interdicted 12 Vehicles
More than 1650 Vehicles Interdicted in 2023 Totaling More Than $29 Million in Unpaid Tolls and Administrative Violation Fees
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that its Bridge and Tunnel officers interdicted 12 vehicles registered to persistent toll violators at the Cross Bay and Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridges on Wednesday, July 12. The scofflaws accounted for $150,498.97 in unpaid tolls and fees. During June 2023, officers interdicted 315 vehicles, bringing the total to 1,650 vehicles between Jan. 1 and June 30. This represents a year-to-date increase of 77% and $29,142,969 in unpaid tolls and fees.
There were eight targeted enforcement operations conducted in June, specifically resulting in the interdiction of 90 vehicles belonging to persistent toll violators. The tolls and fees owed for those 90 vehicles interdicted during targeted enforcement operations totaled $2.068 million. Bridge and Tunnel officers issued 1,626 summonses in June 2023, 255 of which were for covered or obstructed license plates.
“Toll evasion at MTA Bridges and Tunnels will not be tolerated and if motorists try to evade paying their tolls they risk interdiction of their vehicle,” said MTA Bridges and Tunnels Interim President Catherine Sheridan. “Our Bridge and Tunnel officers and other B&T agency departments, which support these enforcement operations, are dedicated to ensuring all vehicles crossing our facilities are paying their fair share.”
“Our operation today demonstrates our steadfast commitment to enforcement against those who consistently try to evade paying tolls,” said MTA Bridges and Tunnels Vice President & Chief of Operations Richard L. Hildebrand II. “Through these targeted efforts, and with the support of our regional law enforcement partners, we are sending a clear message to toll scofflaws that they cannot cheat the system.”
“I applaud the MTA for taking the needed steps toward combatting bridge toll evaders. For years my office has worked on this issue, and to officially have the full partnership of the MTA sends a clear message: those who deliberately scrape their license plates, use deflectors and covers, or false paper plates - we are committed to holding you accountable for paying tolls and following the law like everyone else,” said Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato.
Bridge and Tunnel patrol vehicles are equipped with specialized license plate readers that can identify motorists who are operating vehicles with a suspended registration due to unpaid tolls.
MTA Bridges and Tunnels, through tolls and fees collected, 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 the MTA 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 1,800 vehicles for unpaid tolls. Since the start of Open Road Tolling, Bridge and Tunnel officers have interdicted more than 8,300 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 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.