Barbara A. Bowden

Tacoma, WA DUI Attorney

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Unpaid Toll Forgiveness Program

Do You Have the Good to Go Pass?

There is a toll fee to cross eastbound on the Narrows Bridge and also across Lake Washington on the 520 Bridge. People that cross frequently can obtain a Good to Go Pass that is placed on the windshield and have their bank account automatically billed for each toll crossing. Also, on the Narrows Bridge, there are toll booths for people, who don’t have the Good to Go pass, to pay as they go.

As the toll fees continue to rise to the present level of between $5.00 and $7.00, depending upon the method of payment for an ordinary vehicle or motorcycle, the failure to pay the toll carries with it a civil penalty of $40.00, on top of the toll. To the unwary motorist, forgetting to stop at the toll booth during a simple one-time crossing of the bridge can cost nearly $50.00, after everything is all said and done.

However, there is some grace in the Washington State Department of Transportation. DoT has now decided to adopt a program of waiving the $40.00 civil penalty, if you just come forward and pay the actual unpaid tolls that are due. That’s a pretty good deal, especially for Tacoma residents who may have had an occasion to drive over to Bremerton or the Peninsula across the Narrows Bridge, or, who simply forgot to stop at the toll booth on the way back home. To request a waiver of the civil penalty, a person must contact a Good to Go Service office.

The “Forgiveness” Program

WSDOT estimates the new forgiveness program will benefit about 300,000 vehicles and result in roughly $78.7 million in forgiven late fees and civil penalties, between the Narrows Bridge and the 520 Bridge.

There are some bells and whistles attached to the new found “forgiveness” by Good to Go and WSDOT. For chronic “toll-runners,” i.e., those who have crossed three times or more without stopping to pay the toll, they will be required to pay late fees over and above the actual fee that they owe.

This “forgiveness” also raises a question, how about those people who paid the civil penalty of $40.00 per toll violation? That question is yet unanswered and unlitigated, but, if you are one of those people who have paid the civil penalty, I wouldn’t expect to receive a refund from Good to Go in the mail anytime soon.