3/9/2007Delaware Toll Cameras Turn Transponder Errors Into Felonies
Owners of cars accused of skipping out on tolls now face felony charges in Delaware.
Delaware motorists accused by a camera of failing to pay at a toll booth could find themselves facing felony charges. State police and transportation officials on Tuesday announced the new policy as a "crackdown on toll evaders on I-95, SR-1, and the Delaware Memorial Bridge."
Toll road officials already use cameras to photograph vehicles passing through toll booths when a transponder fails to register payment. As of this month, however, the state Department of Justice will push for felony theft of services charges if the amount of fines and penalties claimed exceeds $1000, rather than prosecute the incident as a simple traffic offense.
In other states, credit cards linked to transponder accounts have expired and inadvertently led to charges of $43,000 for just $140 in unpaid tolls. Similar reports from across the country suggest mechanical errors on the part of toll road operators have led to improper toll cheating accusations and charges.
Delaware officials announced the new policy in connection with the arrest of John Harper, 39, who is charged with $16,011 in fees and fines for 300 unpaid trips. Arrested on February 22, Harper will be the first to face felony charges.