MTA Bridge & Tunnel Officers Intercept 66 Vehicles At Local Bridges, Making Arrests, Levying Fines, Impounding Plates, Vehicles

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MTA Bridge and Tunnel Officers, NYPD and Law Enforcement Partners Interdict 66 Vehicles of Persistent Toll Violators Who Owe Over $700,000 Combined

Interagency Scofflaw Operation at Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, George Washington Bridge and Lincoln Tunnel Interdicted 66 Vehicles

Officers Made 14 Arrests, Issued 413 Total Summonses and Confiscated 108 Improper or Covered License Plates

Editor’s note:  The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge is the second most expensive bridge in the country, beaten only by the extremely long Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  Nearly all of the most expensive bridges and tunnels are located in New York. Staten Islander has previously covered the rising tolls on the VZ Bridge, when two-way tolling was being pushed (a push which was ultimately successful).  From the numbers the MTA provided in the release below, each of the cars intercepted for unpaid tolls owed an average of $7,000 in fines.  Considering the fact that each toll evasion fine costs about $50 or even $100, and the toll itself is $16, then each person, if they exclusively traveled the VZ Bridge, would have evaded the toll approximately somewhere between 50 and 117 times. This is an educated guess.  However, it would seem that the vast majority of toll violations are generated by a very small pool of drivers, considering that 66 drivers had a combined $700K in tolls outstanding.  

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bridges and Tunnels (MTA B&T) along with regional law enforcement partners today announced the results of their fourth interagency task force operation to remove ghost vehicles and crack down on persistent toll violators. The interagency operation included Bridge and Tunnel Officers, NYPD, Port Authority Police, New York City Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).


Officers interdicted 66 vehicles for a number of violations including unpaid tolls, unregistered vehicles, and suspended licenses among other traffic infractions at the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, George Washington Bridge, and Lincoln Tunnel on Thursday, April 4. The scofflaws accounted for $702,424 in unpaid tolls and fees. The operation resulted in 14 arrests, 413 summonses issued and 108 improper or covered license plates confiscated. One of the top persistent toll violators from this targeted operation owed over $200,000 in unpaid tolls and fees.

“Our message is very simple, don’t use fake plates, don’t cover your plates, and pay the toll when you use MTA Bridges and Tunnels’ crossings,” said MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Catherine Sheridan. “New Yorkers are tired of paying their way when too many others are not, and our Bridge and Tunnel Officers are committed to stopping this illegal activity.”

“For motorists who have not yet received the message: the NYPD and our law enforcement partners are dedicated to keeping New York City roads safe for everyone,” said NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban. “We will continue to rigorously enforce all unsafe and unregistered vehicles, as traffic safety is essential to public safety. I applaud our officers and colleagues on this multi-agency task force for the impressive results they are achieving.”

“We are laser-focused in our efforts to catch toll violators, and they will pay what they owe,” said Port Authority Police Superintendent Edward Cetnar. “It is illegal to evade or obstruct license plates and unfair to the citizens who do their part in paying their tolls that support the critical infrastructure that stitches our region together.”

Between Jan. 1 and Dec. 13, 2023, Bridge and Tunnel officers intercepted 2,705 vehicles – a 50% increase from the same time in 2022 and surpassed the total of 1,880 vehicles that were interdicted in all of 2022. Bridge and Tunnel officers have also issued more than 3,000 summonses for covered or obstructed license plates since the beginning of the year.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels, through tolls and fees collected, have recovered more than 98% of the tolls owed by recidivist toll scofflaws since the inception of its DMV Registration Suspension Program.

This enforcement aligns with a coordinated strategy by MTA B&T and City and State law enforcement partners who announced a joint effort against obstructed and counterfeit license plates last year. Since the start of Open Road Tolling, Bridge and Tunnel officers have interdicted more than 9,500 vehicles for persistent non-payment of tolls.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels uses a variety of tools to identify violators and interdict vehicles:

  • DMV registration suspensions
  • Robust roadside interdictions
  • Data-driven intelligence to continuously identify persistent toll violators

Motorists can avoid violation fees and registration suspensions by paying their toll bills on time, using the award-winning Tolls NY free mobile application to pay tolls or manage their E-ZPass accounts. E-ZPass NY Customer Service Center account holders can save up to 40% at MTA B&T tolled crossings by using E-ZPass. To set up an E-ZPass account or for more information, visit www.ezpassny.com. NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law prohibits any covering or coating that intentionally conceals, obscures, or distorts an image of license plates.

Banner Image: MTA B&T Officers, NYPD and Law Enforcement Partners Interdict 66 Vehicles of Persistent Toll Violators Who Owe Over $700,000 Combined. Image Credit – MTA 


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