Judge Slams Florida Authorities For Bogus Toll Fines

from the it's-all-about-the-money dept

It's not just with red light cameras that local authorities are squeezing extra money out of drivers, Consumerist points us to the news that a judge in Florida has tossed out thousands of bogus toll citations, slamming both the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority and Florida Turnpike Authority for failing to deal with the fines properly. It appears that some of the fines resulted from malfunctioning toll transponders. The judge noted that this should have been easy for the traffic authorities to correct, but instead they made it a bureaucratic nightmare for those unfairly and incorrectly accused of running tolls. The judge has even gone so far as to bar the two Authorities from issuing any new citations to drivers who have prepaid or credit-card accounts -- to the point that he's instructed the court clerks in both places to refuse to accept any new citations without affidavits swearing that the offenders have no money in their accounts.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Evil Mike, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 7:59am

    Holy sh*t!

    That's twice in a month that news of a judge who actually displays good judgment has come to light!!

    I'm shocked and amazed. Though, said judge(s) should watch their backs, as some black op may make them disappear... in order to preserve the regular haphazard time-wasting-ness of the US legal system.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    yo ho ho...., Apr 25th, 2008 @ 8:07am

    Where can we clone him?

    Our court system need more judges like this!

    Also -- Given how over-taxed our legal system is... wouldn't it be nice to see more level-headed, no-nonsense rulings like this against wasteful bureaucracies?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Mongo, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 8:17am

    WOOHOO

    This has been a problem for years. They know who you are by your license plate so they can send you a ticket, why can't they just use the same information to charge your account? The transponders are linked to a specific vehicle listed by make, model, year, and REGISTRATION NUMBER!!

    Just as an FYI, the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority (OOCEA) is an organization that justifies it's own existence. They were created to build a single toll road across Orlando. When that was finished, which means that their high paying jobs were about to be eliminated, they said "Hey, we can build another toll road here". Now that THAT road is nearly finished, they have come up with another toll road that will take around 10 years to build. They are doing nothing other than supporting their own mortgages and urban sprawl. The money they make could be put into public transportation (an extensive rail system would do nicely).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Alimas, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 8:17am

    Wow

    That judge is awesome!
    Imagine if we had more not-taking-this-crap judges like him working across the country?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    A guy in FL, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 8:19am

    Wow...

    Living in Florida I myself was fined for supposedly running a toll, despite the fact that my transponder was working fine and that I hit the same toll area at the same time each day on my way to work. When I got the citation they said it was going to be taken care of, but months later I got a citation to appear in court. Thanks, toll guys. That little fiasco cost me several hundred dollars for something that wasn't my fault, but I had to pay it to clear my license.

    Good news that such abuses are being put on hold. Kudos to the judge, I just hope that there are more like them out there with the average citizen in mind!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Joe, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 8:27am

    Re: Where can we clone him?

    Yes lets clone him, or have him taech other judges how to react. I say put him on the next rung of judges and have him tutor his subordinates.

    We need more sane judges.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 8:30am

    Re: WOOHOO

    All I can say to this is "Amen!" I have lived in Central Florida for 36 years and this is the absolute truth! When Orlando got so bad we couldn't stand it any longer, we moved a bit north and only pay rare visits to O-town these days and only when we absolutely have to. Three cheers for this judge for kicking the Orlando bureaucrats in the arse when they really needed it! :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 8:42am

    It's rare!

    Could this be a public official that's not worried about hurting his political career and taking a stand on cleaning up the system instead of going along with it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Ajax 4Hire, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 8:59am

    Look at the evolution of the txtism...

    TXT is an evolution of trying to communicate quickly thru 12 keys on a cellphone. TXTspeak invaded Instant Messaging (IM) and has now made it into public arena (see it on commercials).

    But don't forget the solution TXTspeak was trying to solve. Now people use it in inappropriate arenas (like here where a complete set of keys and time is available).

    TXTspeak is appropriate on a cellphone or IM;
    it is not appropriate in a discussion forum, school paper or even spoken language. Saying "LOL" just makes you sound goofy. and it should be lol because you do not have the time to capital .

    TXT speak when you have a complete keyboard and can type in complete sentences (like here)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 9:20am

    Re: Look at the evolution of the txtism...

    Can you tell me HOW in gods name you manage to post to the wrong thread? How does that even happen?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 9:20am

    Most of the lanes up here have a light that flashes green when it validates that it's read your transponder and you've paid the toll. I have to assume they don't have these in Florida? Or maybe his wife speeding through them so quickly while talking on her cell phone that she failed to even notice. Once I could buy, but 16 times?

    Obviously, they shouldn't have cited her but rather just deducted the money and sent a notification that her transponder seemed to be malfunctioning, but she deserves at least some of the blame for doing nothing each time the light flashed red after the first few.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    indaclds, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 9:40am

    Illinois system works...

    Illinois for all its flaws actually has an automatic toll system that works. You get a ticket after about 5 violations. If you have a transponder you call a toll free number, give them the ticket # the transponder number and it's done. They charge the tolls to your account and the ticket goes away, takes less then 5 minutes. I hate our governer, but have to give him props for cleaning up our tollways!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    GHynson, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 11:00am

    TxTag BS Scam

    I live in Austin, and they just started that Toll Road BS here.
    I've gotten a Citation from using a toll road here.
    What's funny is I've NEVER drove on any Toll Road here,
    and I've NEVER registered my vehicle with TxTag.
    I'll drive out of my way to avoid using a TxTag road,
    so why is it that I've gotten a $2.75 citation?
    I'm sure their just randomly selecting Austin drivers from the DPS database to cite them, hoping people pay and not complain.
    And they've laid out the roads to where unsuspecting drivers inadvertently enter a non-marked tollway and they can't exit until they pass a toll booth.
    If you've even been to Austin, you would know the confusing layout of the tollways.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 11:03am

    Re: TxTag BS Scam

    I seriously doubt there are unmarked tollway onramps. Tell me a specific one and I will go look and 'accidentally' take it and fight the citation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Stephen Pace, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 11:40am

    Houston Much Better At This

    The Harris County Toll Road Authority actually pre-checks for this case. It turns out for a variety of reasons the tags sometimes don't scan, but the system and staff check for valid toll tags before sending citations. I learned this when I found out my personalized plate actually has a minor misprint on it (the State of Texas has one thing in their computer, but sent me one slightly different from that). Even then, it was very easy to resolve.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 11:50am

    "Most of the lanes up here have a light that flashes green when it validates that it's read your transponder and you've paid the toll. I have to assume they don't have these in Florida? Or maybe his wife speeding through them so quickly while talking on her cell phone that she failed to even notice. Once I could buy, but 16 times?"

    Over the 5 years or so, the Expressway Authority in the Orlando area has converted most the toll plazas so that those who have transponders do not pass through a classic toll booth. Instead, they built an arch over the highway that holds transponder detectors and cameras. Cars pass under the arches at posted highway speeds. Those without transponders are routed off the highway through a toll booth for payment. Newer transponders (the small box attached to the window in your vehicle) will blink a LED and sound a beep as you pass under the arch to indicate as feedback that transponder was recognized. However, the older transponders which were issued before the conversion of the toll plazas do not have this feature. They provide no indication whatsoever that the transponder was recognized. You can pass through many of the new toll plazas for a long time and not know that the transponder is not working (usually because the battery died), until you get some sort of official notification. There are probably 10s, if not 100s, of thousands of the older transponders still in use.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 12:09pm

    If someone in the court didn't stand up and say "Ohhhh SNAP!" after the Judge laid the smackdown, I will be very disappointed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Spike, Apr 28th, 2008 @ 10:11am

    Well it's Florida, what do you expect?

    California sends you a ticket for a toll violation and gives you an online place to respond. You just go online, put in your info, and it deducts the toll from your transponder pass account. It's cleared instantly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    adamjohn, Jun 26th, 2008 @ 1:11am

    Well this is the work that judges should perform. Whole place needs judges like this.
    Lets hope time will bring us judges like this.

    Thank you
    _____________
    adamjohn
    Florida Drug Rehab

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    oliviaharis, Nov 17th, 2008 @ 7:17pm

    Department of Transportation

    Although the Florida Department of Transportation agreed to drop the charges and fines against Baird, Seminole County Judge Ralph Eriksson insisted Baird must pay. Galluzzo overturned Eriksson, ruling not only that Baird was denied due process but also that the concept of photo enforced toll citations violated due process.
    -------------
    oliviaharis
    massachusetts drug rehab

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    wiki123, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 2:24am

    Miami real estate

    I am Wiki123
    I think this site is providing information about Real estates. This business is highly risk and more profitable. I think real estates once clicks then it will be largely gettable income. I think this site is to be useful to whom wants to do real estates business they require to see this.
    ===================
    wiki123
    Miami real estate

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Peter Sassano, Mar 23rd, 2011 @ 7:12am

    Toll Violation

    I find it outrageous that I was charged with a toll violation in which the charge was sent to my car rental company who just gave out my credit card number. The issue is that no one was manning the toll booth, and there was no envelope available for me to mail the toll amount. My option was to keep moving or shut off my car and just sit there until someone arrived, if ever. What a scam. Orlando doesn't pay a toll collector, and collects the toll plus a penalty. I have no problem paying the toll, but the penalty is what infuriates me. I was considering retiring to Florida, but this has made me change my mind. Every time you turn around there is another toll.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Steven, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 7:55am

    Re: Toll Violation

    They also trick people in central fl. The signs prior to the toll says cash then when you get closer it says exact coins therefore causing you to run the toll if you dont have change. They give you according to them two times before being penalized for there tricks. That can happen one day if your traveling in an unknown area..they claim the signs are legal but actually its not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This