First Time Offenders Of Cashless Toll Roads Receiving Penalty Fee Waivers
Some Toll road violators in Southern California are receiving outrageous bills in the mail, but penalty fee waivers are available for first time offenders
By Martin Hill
September 27, 2014



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    Drivers accused of running cashless toll roads without paying in Orange County are being offered waivers for the penalty fees, with certain conditions attached. An astonishing 13,500 violation notices are being issued every day in Orange County alone, since the system went cashless. The taxpayers have already paid for most of these roads yet are being charged for them again, and fleeced in the process with outrageous and punitive fees.

    However, there is some good news. If drivers receive a toll-road violation notice in the mail they can opt to pay the toll fee itself (which is usually around $3.50) and at the current time, (as of September 25, 2014), the $57.50 penalty fee is being waived in Orange County for first time offenders, if they pay the toll fee itself within 30 days from the date of the 'Notice of Toll Evasion.' The Toll Roads claims that this information about the penalty relief "is inserted into first-time violation notices" but that is not true, and their FAQ page mentions nothing whatsoever about the waivers. Only after digging around their website, I finally found this obscure blurb acknowledging the temporary 'waivers.'

    Of course they can also opt to contest the citation, which is explained here. Although due-process does not seem to be part of the equation in the toll-road ticket system.

    But first the good news, about the penalty fee waiver. I don't know how long this is going to last but thought I'd put it out there since this type of penalty fee amnesty does not seem to have been announced or promoted officially. The toll road website does not mention the first time penalty fee waiver, except on an obscure side page not accessible unless you really search for it. It does not mention if other counties such as Los Angeles are also included in the penalty fee waiver. An e-mail query to the toll roads organization regarding whether other counties are offering a waiver was not responded to at time of publication. When they respond, I will update this page with their response.

    Earlier this year, the toll roads announced that Orange County would waive the toll violation penalty fees because of the confusion after the system went cashless; but the fees were only being waived until labor day, which was Monday September 1, 2014.

    In Cashless confusion: O.C. toll roads waive fees for first-time violators, The L.A. Times reported "This rollout was meant to improve the toll road service, not burden the driver," said Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer, who serves as a toll agency board member. To ease the transition, the toll agency is waiving a $57.50 penalty fee for first-time violators through Labor Day, as long as the toll is paid within 30 days. Under the cashless system, motorists are suppose to pay their tolls within 48 hours or be hit with a penalty." The OC Register reported "the agency denies allegations that its profiting from driver confusion."

    The Toll Roads claim that "Information about the penalty relief for first-time violations is inserted into first-time violation notices" is not true, and their FAQ page mentions nothing whatsoever about the waivers. Only after digging around their website, I finally found this blurb in their press release section:

    Transition Program Remains in Place to Ease Driver Conversion to All-Electronic Toll Collection

    Since May 14, 65,269 ExpressAccounts have been opened and 440,267 drivers have paid using One-Time-Toll

    IRVINE, Calif. - August 29, 2014 - After cash toll collection ended on Orange County's toll roads on May 14, a program was implemented to ease drivers' transition to the new all-electronic toll collection system. The transition program -- originally put in place through the long Labor Day weekend -- has been extended as The Toll Roads continue to evaluate data about usage, payments, feedback from customers and reports from customer service representatives.

    "We will keep the transition program in place while we monitor how drivers are using the roads as summer winds down, tourism lightens and many people get back to their commuting routines," said Mike Kraman, acting CEO of The Toll Roads. "We also want to keep the transition program in place as we make improvements to our customer service functions to better serve our customers."

    As part of the transition program:

  • Penalty fees for first-time violations are waived if the tolls incurred are paid within 30 days of receiving a notice of toll evasion. Approximately 40 percent of violation notices are sent to people who have never before received a violation notice.
  • Drivers without a pre-established tolling account can pay tolls online within seven days after driving the roads using the One-Time-Toll´┐Ż payment option. One-Time-Toll was developed to be used within 48 hours of driving the roads. Data is being reviewed to determine if the One-Time-Toll payment timeframe will be extended permanently.

  • A young relative of mine recently received a ticket from the toll roads in Orange County and there was no mention whatsoever of the waivers with the citation. After several days of trying to reach the toll road organization by phone to see if they would waive the penalty fees, no one would ever answer the phone. So my relative opted to go online and found that their fees were being waived in Orange County since they were a first time offender! Below is the text and a screen shot.

    The citation was for nearly $500. The NOTICE OF TOLL VIOLATION from The Toll Roads ( stated, in part:


    Our records show that on the below date(s), time(s), and locations(s), the vehicle identified was traveling on The Toll Roads without making proper toll payment or having a valid FastTrak transponder. Driving on The Toll Roads without making the proper toll payment violates California Vehicle Code (CVC) 23302 and 23302.5. Such violations are subject to a civil penalty under CVC 40250.
    Information concerning the violation(s), including amounts due and important dates, is set forth in the schedule below. Be advised that failure to pay the amount due or submit the completed form on this notice may result in additional penalties, including attachment of the violation amounts to the registration of the vehicle (DMV registration lein), a civil judgment for the violation amounts and associated costs, and other collection procedures as set forth in CVC 40267 and as allowed by law.
    ...To avoid escalation of penalties or initiation of collection activities, it is important that you respond to this notice within 21 days of the notice date.

    The notice was dated 9/13/14 and listed eight separate toll violations, each with its own violation number, date and time, location, and vehicle license plate number. Each of the 8 toll violations were $3.50, plus an "amount of penalty due" of $57.50 for each violation. That was 8 violations times $61 dollars each, totalling $488, which the agency said was due by 10/04. If it was not paid by 10/04, the letter threatened that the fee would go up an additional $340 [42.50 each] for a grand total of $828. Additionally, if that was not paid by 10/25, the letter threatened that the fee would be "subject to vehicle registration lien."

    Of course this young college student was freaked out about this giant bill which they couldn't afford. (In addition to learning a lesson in paying attention to toll signs of course.) So I did a little research.

    The ticket was from Orange County. The notice itself said nothing about a waiver or waiving the fees. The toll fees itself for these alleged eight separate toll violations were only $3.50 each, but the PENALTY attached to each violation was listed at $57.50 each. That brought each toll violation up to $61 EACH! Quite pricey. But upon logging the citation number into the system, the following appeared:


    We recently removed cash toll collection and converted The Toll Roads to all-electronic tolling. As a courtesy the violation penalty for the selected violations below has been waived. Payment of toll must be received within 30 days from the date of your Notice of Toll Evasion. Non-payment will reinstate the violation penalty, with further escalation and possible action with DMV.

    Please check the boxes to select the violations you would like to pay and click on the "Pay Violations" button.

    If this person had not gone on the internet and entered the citation number, they would never have found out about the penalty fee waiver. Let's say for example, if it had been an old person who doesn't go on the internet, and still uses checks to pay bills, they would believe that they must pay the $61 for each violation, and they would mail in the check. This is not fair, and the paper notice violations which are mailed out to witless toll-runners should include notice of the fee waiver period for first time offenders.

    The website also notes that users can "Pay Tolls Online: One-Time-Toll allows visitors and infrequent users of The Toll Roads to pay tolls online or via our free app within 48 hours after driving our roads. Cash toll collection was removed from our roadways in May. To help drivers with the transition, the One-Time-Toll payment period has been extended from 48 hours to 7 days."

    To learn how to contest your toll-road ticket in California, click here.

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    First Time Offenders Of Cashless Toll Roads Receiving Penalty Fee Waivers in Calif.

    — Martin (@LibertyFight) September 27, 2014

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    Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise,,,,, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association,,, WorldNetDaily,,,, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show,, Pasadena Weekly,, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640,, Redlands Daily Facts, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report,,, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze,,, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer,, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at and DontWakeMeUp.Org.


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