Public forum held to discuss cashless tolls in Nanuet

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Dozens of people attended a public forum in Nanuet Wednesday to discuss cashless tolls and how to protect drivers from fines.

While the new cashless tolls may be convenient for some drivers, it has created headaches for others.

Tedd Cuttitta, of New City, says he travels throughout the Hudson Valley and frequently over the Mario Cuomo Bridge for work. When he got his toll bill in the mail, he noticed random charges for the Spring Valley toll barrier.

"It was sporadic, it made no sense! The vans that have to pay are larger, taller, heavy duty vans,” he says.

When trying to resolve the issue with the Thruway Authority, he got no response. Cuttitta says he didn’t want to pay the fines because they were sent in error. However, he says his bills were coming in after the payment due date, and he racked up close to $2,000 in fines.

Cuttitta says his only choices were to pay the fees and penalties or lose the registration to the van.

“I can't lose my van - I'll lose work,” he says.

Cuttitta got in touch with state Sen. David Carlucci, who was able to get some things sorted out.  Cuttitta was still forced to pay hundreds of dollars in fines.

Carlucci, who called for the forum on Wednesday, invited the New York State Thruway Authority, the MTA and the Port Authority to attend, but none of the organizations were at the meeting.

The Thruway Authority blamed their absence on prepping for the snow season.

Carlucci now plans to pass legislation to enforce stricter rules. He is also pushing for a resident plan and a certified mail system.

Officials say the Thruway Authority collected a half a billion dollars in tolls across the state last year, which does not include fines.

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