Probe reveals confusion over toll violations

We all hate forking over bucks to cross the Bay Area’s seven toll bridges, but we know we have to. Otherwise we’ll get a hefty ticket in the mail.

However, a recent investigation by CBS-SF appeared to reveal not everyone had been following these simple rules.

Metropolitan Traffic Commission records examined by CBS-SF showed at least 20 state and local agencies haven’t been paying their tolls. John Goodwin of the Metropolitan Traffic Commission told CBS-SF:

“Everybody is obliged to pay the toll. We treat everybody the same, whether it’s a private individual or a government agency.”

That means you too Caltrans, who was listed as the biggest offender of toll violations owing a whopping $4.4 million in back tolls according to MTC data.

However, after digging deeper, CBS-SF reported the MTC data collection system is “extremely flawed,” discovering Caltrans owes just $118,000 in back tolls.

MTC blames the discrepancy on software glitches and an inefficient system they use to send out fine notices. Several agencies claimed they never received invoices from MTC regarding their fines.

Other agencies argued certain vehicles exempt from paying tolls were incorrectly fined. For instance, Oakland police cars were thought to have racked up thousands in tolls, but were exempt because their siren and lights were on.