Toll amnesty that's brought an unexpected $15M so far is extended through June
Illinois tollway directors on Thursday extended an amnesty program, introduced a few months after the COVID-19 pandemic started, that forgives or reduces fees for violations until June 30.
The amnesty program was implemented June 25, 2020. It eliminated penalties for missed tolls incurred from March 9, 2020, to June 25, 2020, in recognition of stresses and "severe economic disruption" during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said at the time.
The policy also decreased hefty and controversial fines for unpaid tolls incurred prior to March 9, 2020.
Instead, drivers were required to pay the missed toll amount and $3 per violation.
The amnesty program resulted in collecting $15 million in revenues unlikely to have been retrieved without the reprieve, Deputy Chief of Business Systems Michael Catolico said at a Thursday meeting.
It also resulted in more than $130 million in "avoided fines," Catolico said, adding "the program was successful by any metric."
Administrators intend to propose additional revisions to the agency's fee structures at February's meeting, and extending the amnesty program allows for a smoother transition, officials said.
The tollway board previously extended the amnesty period through Feb. 10, 2022.
Drivers without an I-PASS have 14 days to pay a missed toll online.
Three or more unpaid tolls accumulated in a one-year period trigger a violation notice.
For more information, go to illinoistollway.com/unpaid-tolls.