Local

Out-of-state E-ZPass holders wrongly charged for Va. tunnels

 

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Some out-of-state motorists were charged additional fees for traveling through tunnels between Norfolk and Portsmouth because the transponders on their E-ZPass accounts were not read correctly, according to Elizabeth River Crossings.

The Virginian-Pilot reports (http://bit.ly/1B1XYUG ) the company in charge of the electronic tolling system at the tunnels says it fixed the problem on Feb. 5 and is working to issue refunds to anyone whose E-ZPass account was billed extra because of it.

A December software change in the company’s system resulted in what’s known as “video tolls” being assessed to E-ZPass holders whose accounts are from other states when those motorists used the tunnels, said David Caudill, the tolling administrator for the state highway department, which runs E-ZPass in Virginia. ERC did not realize this was happening until late January, he said.

Video tolling is used to bill motorists who do not have an E-ZPass account. It involves recording an image of a vehicle’s license plate and sending an invoice to the registered owner.

Many Hampton Roads motorists opened E-ZPass accounts in other states to avoid the monthly account maintenance fee that Virginia previously charged on its E-ZPass system.

ERC said it will refund video-toll-related fees that motorists incurred on their E-ZPass accounts because of the company’s problem. The newspaper reports the company did not have an estimate of how many motorists incurred additional fees or how much ERC expects to refund.

Other motorists with out-of-state E-ZPass accounts may have been affected in another way. Those who did not have their account up to date with their current license plate might get a bill in the mail for tolls assessed at the higher, non-E-ZPass rate for weeks’ worth of trips.

In those cases, the system would have mistakenly thought the motorist didn’t have E-ZPass because it did not recognize the license plate.

Those affected in that way can get their bills corrected by calling ERC’s customer service at 855-ERT-ROAD.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

 

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