It's the “Scarlett Letter” for Illinois scofflaws.
State Tollway officials have published its list of shame -- deadbeat drivers who owe more than a thousand bucks in unpaid fines.
One day after Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law okaying the public browbeating, the names are up at illinoistollway.com. The banner at the top of the page reads, “List of Super Scofflaws. Learn more.”
"Tolls are a significant source of revenue for maintaining and improving our region’s transportation system, and our Board understands that every dollar counts,” Tollway Board Chair Paula Wolff noted in a statement provided to Yahoo News that underscored its “zero tolerance policy” for toll cheats.
The Tollway points out that 98 percent of Tollway users pay their bills on time.
The Illinois Tollway says it has named 157 businesses that collectively owe $3.7 million, resorting to this after contacting the businesses nine times over the course of nine months to two years. Number one on the list: Landa Transport Inc., a trucking business that the Tollway says owes $215,000 in unpaid tolls.
"I could pretty much guarantee that we do not owe that much because we don't have that kind of equipment to generate that kind of money," Landa’s operations manmager Eddie Garza told the Chicago Tribune. "We don't even spend that (amount) in fuel, let alone tolls."
Garza noted that the trucks are equipped with I-Pass transponders, which are read by the toll plazas and billed to a credit card attached to the account.
Violators can get off the list by calling a number on the website to resolve the debt.
- Illinois Tollway