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Tollway Seeks To Shame ‘Super Scofflaws’ Into Paying Off Huge Debts

Tollway

The Illinois Tollway. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The Illinois Tollway is resorting to potential embarrassment to put pressure on businesses that routinely fail to pay their tolls.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, a day after Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law allowing the practice, the Illinois Tollway has posted a list of so-called “super scofflaws” – companies that owe at least $1,000 in unpaid tolls.

RELATED: Illinois Tollway Super Scofflaws

Topping the list of 157 super scofflaws is Frankfort-based Landa Transport, which owes nearly $215,000 in unpaid tolls and fines, according to the Tollway. The new state law

Tollway executive director Kristi Lafleur said most of the scofflaws on the list are trucking companies, taxi or limo agencies, or other businesses with fleets of vehicles.

“Some of these violations have been accruing over many years, and companies have been ignoring the violation notices for many years in order to get to this point,” she said.

The top 10 scofflaws on the list owe anywhere from $78,423.40 to $214,859.10 in unpaid tolls and fines.

Lafleur said, in many cases, the companies on the list don’t have iPass transponders for their vehicles, or don’t keep the accounts up to date.

“Some of the excuses are that they didn’t know; maybe they had an employee who was receiving these, and throwing them away immediately, instead of letting management of the company know,” she said. “While we understand that, we want to make sure that those companies know that we’re serious, and they need to pay. Other than that, I don’t know what the good excuses would be. My dog ate my iPass?”

The 157 businesses on the list have ignored so many violation notices that their cases have been handed over to a collection agency, and the Tollway has gone to court in an effort to force payment.

“The best way for us is, if a customer is just a good customer, and they pay on time,” she said. “That’s 98 percent of the people who use the tollway system, but we owe it to those people to make sure that, for that 2 percent that don’t – for whatever reason – we’re doing everything we can to collect from them.”

She said the Tollway sends out multiple notices about unpaid tolls.