Investigators say the charges recently filed against five people serve as an example why the 5-county Philadelphia-area leads the state of Pennsylvania in toll violations.
The suspects are accused of racking up a combined $66,000 of unpaid tolls in Bucks County alone.
Bucks County Assistant District Attorney Brittney Kern says, "In this round of charging there's one individual whose violations are over $22,000 and it's from hundreds and hundreds of violations over a couple of years."
That individual is Jonathan Quinty of East Greenville who is accused of blowing toll gates a total of 542 times.
Also accused are Rachel Andershonis of Bensalem who owes more than $19,500 in unpaid tolls, Robert Mansfield of Philadelphia who allegedly blew $16,716 worth of tolls, Antonio Green Jr. of Bensalem who is on the hook for $4,000 and Thomas Macrina of Warminster who is being asked to pay $3,517.50 worth of unpaid tolls.
And that only represents some of the toll violations in Bucks County alone.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike loses approximately $7 million in unpaid tolls a year across the state, approximately $2 million of which is lost from commuters in Southeast Pennsylvania blowing toll gates.
Officials from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission say they do not contact prosecutors until they single out individuals whose habit of riding toll roads for free climbs to the level of a felony.
And Ray Morrow, the Turnpike's Chief Compliance Officer says there is no way these people are unaware of what they are doing.
He says, "Each trip, each time they make a trip where they don't pay, they get two notices for each violation. So, when you're talking about someone who drove the Turnpike 500 times without paying, they've been noticed (notified) at least 1,000 times."
And Morrow has a message for all the scofflaws who think driving through tolls without paying is a good idea.
He says don't do it, because it's not worth it.
"It astounds me that people are willing to take this chance and not respond to the notifications they get to pay their fair share, but also take a chance that this is going to court and they are going to end up paying for more than what their trip is," he says.
5 charged after allegedly racking up $66,000 in unpaid Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls
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