Tollway takes a look at violations policy

  • Daily Herald file photoChanges may be ahead for drivers who miss toll on Illinois toll roads.

    Daily Herald file photoChanges may be ahead for drivers who miss toll on Illinois toll roads.

 
 
Updated 4/28/2011 6:30 PM

Changes could be down the road for Illinois tollway drivers who miss tolls as the agency evaluates its violations policy.

The agency is in the midst of rebidding contracts for its electronic tolling system.

 

While prospective contractors are being evaluated, officials talked about surveying I-PASS users for their opinions on violation notices Thursday.

They could get an earful. The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority in 2007 and 2008 fell behind in issuing violation notices, meaning that hundreds of drivers received hefty fines. The backlog has cleared up but concerns remain.

The toll road is considering hiring the University of Illinois at Chicago's research and survey lab to conduct focus groups for $28,840.

"It's a fairly reasonable amount and hopefully we'll receive good feedback," toll road Executive Director Kristi Lafleur said. The surveys will help to develop different scenarios for violations and enforcement, she added.

Officials delayed approving the contract because several directors said they wanted to be sure the focus groups occur throughout the region, not just on the university's Chicago campus.

"If you want to get people's opinions, the way to do it is to go to them," Aurora Mayor and toll road Director Tom Weisner said.

"It's not worth $25,000 if we do interviews with people downtown," Director Bill Morris said.

In addition to the focus groups, toll road staff and directors are expected to start evaluating the current policy of issuing a violation notice when three tolls are missed within two years.