Guy Hit With Shocking Toll Bill

Washington state driver planned to pay later
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2015 2:10 PM CST
Guy Hit With $18K Toll Fee
Traffic moves across the Highway 520 floating bridge Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011, toward Seattle from Medina, Wash.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

A Washington state man received a wee shock when he saw his outstanding toll-bridge bill: more than $18,000. His dad, Tom Rose, says the young man was working his first job and crossing the 520 bridge daily without a Good to Go pass—figuring he'd pay later, KING-TV reports. But the Washington State Department of Transportation didn't have the son's right address, so no bill came in the mail. The guy only learned of the $1,360 in tolls and over $16,000 in penalties when trying to sell his car. "He was living hand to mouth," Rose says of his son. "He thought he was picking the lesser of two evils. He could save up and pay for them later."

Luckily WSDOT says it's willing to strike a deal on the man's penalties, but there are other cases of high Good to Go bills. In fact, a recent class-action lawsuit claims that Good to Go billing violated due process by not always notifying a driver of her outstanding bills and penalties, notes KING-TV. Other drivers have felt WSDOT's billing wrath and learned they can't complain in local courts, where elected judges might rule in their favor; billing complaints go to a "merciless administrative review set up by the transportation agency itself," writes Danny Westneat in the Seattle Times. As for WSDOT, it has no comment on the lawsuit and says it hasn't been served yet. (More tolls stories.)

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