Officials push to help drivers fined on Mario M. Cuomo BridgePosted: Updated:
There is a new push to help drivers in the Hudson Valley who are facing steep fines for crossing the new Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.
There is a new amnesty program for Tolls By Mail customers who received violation fees for crossing the bridge between April 24, 2016 through the end of January.
The drivers having issues are the ones who don't have E-ZPass. The way the system works is that if a driver does not have E-ZPass, a picture of their license plate is automatically taken as they go through the tolls, then a bill is sent to their home.
But hundreds of drivers claim they've been slapped with thousands of dollars in fines for not paying bills which they claim they never received.
Some local lawmakers, like State Sen. David Carlucci (D) have come up with a bill to help. Carlucci filed the Toll Payer Protection Act on Tuesday. "One of the things that I am putting forth is that there would be a due process, a plan that everybody can work on, a payment plan. If we are trying to make an efficient system, we need these safeguards in place," he says.
The bill would require the State Thruway Authority to notify drivers about toll fees quicker, create a text and email notification system, increase signage of tolls on roads and bridges, and notify drivers about registration suspensions through certified mail.
This amnesty program is only for three weeks and drivers must pay all outstanding toll balances by the end of February.
Lawmakers say that one way to avoid this issue altogether is to set up an E-ZPass account.