(KXAN) -- The names of the top 25 violators of the toll roads operated by the Texas Department of Transportation were released Thursday by the state agency, and 16 of them owe more than $100,000.
And all 25 are from the Austin area.
The top delinquent drivers had 14,358 unpaid transactions that totaled $236,026.32. Number 2 had more than 10,000 unpaid transactions totaling more than $127,600.
"Effectively, these people have been stealing form the state and fellow citizens of Texas," TxDOT spokeswoman Veronica Beyer said. "It's not fair that people have been driving around not paying their tolls to the thousands of other people who have been doing the right thing and paying their tolls."
A new state law gives the TxDOT the authority to report the names of toll violators in an effort to collect more than $27-million in unpaid tolls owed across the state.
"The tolls collected will be used to pay debt and fund operations of state-maintained toll roads," the TxDot website says...
In addition to publishing the list of the top violators, TxDOT also has the authority to:
- Ban vehicles from using TxDOT toll roads with Texas Transportation Commission approval. If stopped by law enforcement, vehicles in violation of the ban can be ticketed and impounded.
- Report the habitual violators to count tax assessor-collectors to potentially block the renewal of the vehicle's registration.
- Motorists with unpaid toll violations should immediately contact the TxTag Custormer Service Center at (888) 468-9824 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays. A negotiated settlement amount may be offered as well as a payment plan, if needed.
TxDOT operates several toll roads in the Austin area, Laredo and one in Houston. Regional authorities operate the other toll roads.