Tollway Seeks To Lower Violation Fees, Win Back Fans

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (CBS) — An effort reportedly is underway to make life easier for motorists who occasionally use Illinois toll roads.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Pat Cassidy reports, the Chicago Tribune says the Illinois Toll Highway Authority has begun looking at ways to eliminate high penalties for missed tolls.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Pat Cassidy reports

Currently, a driver who misses a toll will get slapped with a $20 fee per violation in addition to the original unpaid toll charges. Another fee of $50 per violation is added that fee is not paid within eight weeks.

But Tollway executive director Kristi LaFleur the tollway is considering just sending drivers a friendly notice after their first violation, in which they would only have to pay the missed toll and a small administrative fee, the Tribune reported.

LaFleur told the newspaper that the Tollway realizes people sometimes make innocent mistakes, and shouldn’t be automatically slapped with fines as lawbreakers.

The Tribune reports the authority has also upgraded its online toll calculator, at, so that drivers can plan their trips better, the newspaper reported.

Using the tollway got a lot more expensive this year.

As of Jan.1 of this year, the 40-cent basic rate toll for I-Pass users – unchanged since 1983 – went up to 75 cents. Drivers who paid cash saw their 80 cent toll go up to $1.50.

Other toll plazas now cost even more. For example, the Waukegan Toll Plaza on I-94 now costs $1.40 (I-Pass) and $2.80 (cash).

An interest group, Taxpayers United of America, filed a lawsuit last year seeking to block the increases by challenging the Toll Highway Authority’s right to charge tolls at all. The group said when the tollways were created in 1953, they were supposed to be turned into freeways within 20 years once the original bonds to fund construction were paid off.

A judge dismissed the lawsuit in December.

  • Toonces
  • Toonces

    How about no tollway and no fees? Works for me!

  • the rapture

    innocent mistakes – there are cash lanes and there are i-pass lanes

    the innocent take the cash lanes – and most exits/entrances do have the cash basket still present

    the immoral, evil and despicable cheaters and criminals of the universe and the state of IL take the i-pass lanes with no transponder – no mercy – no reduction in fees – double or triple the fees – impound the car

    you cheat – you pay dearly

  • Jim

    For those looking to eliminate the tolls, please tell us how you plan on covering the costs to maintain and expand the existing network of roads that are now tolled?

    The tolls collected today go towards that. Eliminate the tolls and you’ll now have to find that money elsewhere. Like higher gas taxes. Or higher drivers license and registration fees. Or perhaps both.

    Aside from the deadbeats that use the tollways without paying (and I wholeheartedly endorse stiff fines and penalties for those repeat offenders – you can easily get around Chicagoland and never set a wheel on the tollways), it’s those that use the tollways that pay for it. Not unfair, really, paying for what you use.

  • Oh, gimme a break

    “Fans”? Who the fuk is a “fan” of the tollway? Good grief!

  • righttrack

    So those who cheat the tolls are now going to be able to do it cheaper ???

  • To Kristi La Fleur

    the tollway has an antiquated system of replenishing your account as well,you can use cash by inconviently stoping at an oasis or you can use a credit card.
    What about going on line and sending an E-Check HASSEL FREE !!!!!
    I called there and the idiot who answered the phone didn`t even know what I was talking about.

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