CHICAGO (STMW) — The Illinois Tollway might be extending its payment deadlines for drivers who fail to make good on unpaid tolls.

The Illinois Tollway’s Customer Service Committee recommended last week giving drivers 30 days to respond to each of three violation notices that are sent out, increasing the total number of days from 56 to 90, according to the Illinois Tollway Authority.

The new 30-day deadlines are expected to go into effect by the end of 2013, if the Illinois Tollway board of directors approves the change at its Sept. 26 meeting in west suburban Downers Grove. If approved, the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules must then give final approval.

Violation notices are sent out after a driver racks up at least three unpaid tolls within a two-year period.

As it stands, drivers who receive a violation notice have 21 days to contest the violation or pay the unpaid tolls, plus an additional $20 per toll. Failure to comply results in a second notice, for which drivers have 14 days to pay and a warning that additional fines of $50 per toll will occur if everything isn’t paid in full. Drivers who receive a third notice have 21 days to pay, plus a $50 fine per unpaid toll.

If tolls still are not paid, the agency may ask the Secretary of State’s office to suspend the driver’s license and vehicle license plate, as well as refer the driver to a collection agency.

More than 1.4 million vehicles drive on the Illinois Tollway every day, the agency reports.

In 2012, 1.2 million first violation notices were issued, amounting to about $55 million in unpaid tolls for which the agency reports about $44 million was recovered.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)