Public outrage over unfair treatment of motorists by toll road administrators in the United States and overseas are forcing mild reforms. New Hampshire Governor John Lynch (D) last week signed a law forbidding the motor vehicle department from suspending the drivers' licenses of those accused of skipping out on a toll. Instead, the state will collect fines of up to $1000 and hold the renewal of vehicle registrations until the fines are paid. The move was a direct response to a January incident where an innocent motorist was arrested and booked for failure to pay a single 75 cent toll -- a toll that he had actually paid.
In Florida, toll road agencies have told lawmakers that they might not oppose a similar modification to state laws imposing harsh penalties on toll cheats. The officials are motivated by bad publicity in the wake of a Circuit Court Judge John Galluzzo's ruling that banned the imposition of any penalties on motorists with a valid toll transponder account. Galluzzo was outraged by the treatment of a firefighter who was falsely accused of cheating and nearly lost his job as a result.
In Singapore, the Land Transport Authority admitted Thursday that around 300 motorists every month were being hit with "problems of compatibility" with its all-electronic system for paying tolls. As a result, drivers have been left to worry whether they would be fined for cheating each time they use the country's toll roads.
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