Lawmakers continue push for Toll Payer Protection Act ahead of statewide cashless tollingPosted: Updated:
Cashless tolling is coming to the entire New York Thruway by year's end, and Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti are still pushing his and Sen. David Carlucci's Toll Payer Protection Act.
The proposed legislation would improve the process of notifying drivers about tolls and ensure penalties are fair.
"When government acts, government has to act fairly. The tolls-by-mail system, right now, is not fair," Assemblyman Abinanti says.
Drivers without an E-ZPass get a bill in the mail when they cross through a tolling location. A recent report from Assemblyman Abinanti lays out three flaws with tolls-by-mail.
"No authorization by the state Legislature, no judicial remedy for those who want to challenge the bills or the penalties, and no scale set up to impose penalties for those who fail to pay their bills," Assemblyman Abinanti explains.
Other state officials, however, say they already have policies in place similar to what the Toll Payer Protection Act is seeking to do.
"If people don't pay their tolls or we send them a notice and they don't pay their tolls, then you pay their tolls," Gov. Andrew Cuomo says.
The State Thruway Authority argues it's already adapting to customer needs.
"When a person is wrongfully charged, yes, they should have recourse. The Thruway Authority brought down the fine, they set up liaisons where you can call and dispute the bill. But there are a lot of people who just don't want to pay," Gov. Cuomo says.
Assemblyman Abinanti hopes to reach a compromise with the state to pass some form of his bill.