Texas driver petitions for changes to avoid major toll fees

Toll road (File Image)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Chris Norman, who used to live in Austin and now lives in Houston, has created an online petition demanding changes on the toll roads.

“Demand that they address these issues, these loopholes and problems that are making everyone so angry. And if they’ll fix that then we’ll stop there, if they don’t, we’re going to trial,” exclaims Norman.

Now that the petition has reached more than 10,000 signatures, Norman is preparing letters to send to the governor and other state lawmakers to get everybody in one room to figure out how to address the issues on the toll road; he experienced a problem himself.

“TxDOT under their law, deactivated my toll tag.”

Norman says he had title complications when he bought a car a few years ago, which prevented him from using his TxTag for about a month. He says he didn’t realize it was automatically deactivated.

“I had no notifications and since the toll tag didn’t register at the time I drove through the toll booths, Houston treated me like a violator,” explains Norman.

Norman says that’s how he racked up $150 in toll fees, which ballooned into a $4,000 lawsuit that he lost. Norman says he’s heard similar stories, including dozens online, which is why he started the petition. Some of the changes it calls for is having one tolling agency statewide, and no more new toll roads.

“Texans feel like they’re being victimized by these egregious fines and fees,” says Norman.

Norman says he does not have a set date yet to meet with lawmakers, but he says the executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation has already agreed to meet.

Late last week, TxDOT said they were putting late fees back in place. Last year, they suspended the fees on unpaid tolls. That was after tens of thousands of drivers were incorrectly billed.

TxDOT says drivers with outstanding tolls have until the end of the month to pay up. Late fees will be added starting in September.

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