Outrageous Man Gets $17K E-ZPass Fine for $30 in Missed Tolls and He's Not Alone
E-ZPass is supposed to make life easier for commuters, but that doesn't appear to be the case for some in the D.C. area.
Emily Miller of FOX's WTTG-TV has been reporting extensively on drivers who are being hit with amazingly high fines for much small violations.
Miller reported this morning on "Fox and Friends" on the case of Joe Mischler, who received $17,000 in fines for $36 in missed tolls!
"They don't care," said Mischler, alleging that in his eyes, it's all about "shaking down" ordinary citizens.
Mischler argued that his transponder wasn't being read properly, causing the violations to add up.
Mischler tried to resolve it on his own, but when he was summoned to appear in a Virginia civil court, he contacted WTTG.
The company that manages E-ZPass lanes and violations, Transurban, called the case "rare" and eventually agreed to reduce the fines to a few hundred bucks.
But Miller reports that Mischler's ordeal is not rare at all because when her story aired, she began getting calls from many others who have dealt with similar predicaments.
Elise Pizarro, for example, was facing more than $9,500 in fines for $28 in missed tolls. She says the issue is again related to the E-ZPass transponders failing to read her tag in express lanes.
“This is happening all the time. I'm not the only one it's happening to. Obviously it happened to Joe Mischler. It's happened to other people," she said.
Pizarro accepted an out-of-court settlement with the company, agreeing to pay $2,000 and had to take out a loan on her 401(k) to pay for it.
Transurban maintains the cases are rare and almost all of these cases are resolved before court.
"About 96 percent of our customers are using the Express Lanes and not having issues -- 99.9 percent of them are solving any issues before court,” said a Transurban spokesperson.
But Pizarro notes that 96 percent sounds like a good figure until you realize that about a million drivers use E-ZPass on the D.C. area's 495 express lanes, meaning around 4,000 people could be experiencing these problems.
Watch Miller's full report above, and if this has happened to you, contact "Fox and Friends" at firstname.lastname@example.org.