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November 02, 2012

Dallas toll violator who owes $183,000 comes forward, agrees to pay up

@gdickson

The mysterious motorist named Amber Young, identified for months by the North Texas Tollway Authority as its most egregious toll violator, has come forward and agreed to settle her account. Tollway

By the time Young came forward, she owed $182,598.15 for 8,516 toll violations.

Tollway authority spokesman Michael Rey confirmed Friday afternoon that the Plano-based agency had made contact with Young, whose address is listed as far north Dallas, and reached a settlement with her.

Among the terms of the deal, according to Rey:

  • Young will make an initial $5,000 payment, and $250 per month "for an extended period of time."
  • Her total payments will be $28,684.
  • She will open a TollTag account, and maintain a $500 balance during the payment period.
  • If she defaults, the total of nearly $183,000 will be owed, and all of her vehicles may be banned from area tollways.

 "For all who have delinquent tolls, this demonstrates that it is best to take care of invoices in a timely manner to avoid higher costs," Rey said in an email.

Young, whom various news outlets have been unable to reach for comment since her identity was first made known several months ago, has stood out as a prime example of how difficult it is to force motorists to pay their tolls.

Since the tollway authority went all-electronic in 2010, motorists have had the option of signing up for a TollTag - a device placed on their windshield that deducts tolls electronically - or having their license plate photographed and a bill sent in the mail.

But forcing registered vehicle owners to pay those snail-mailed bills has been a tremendous problem.

Millions of dollars in past-due tolls remain unpaid. To look at the worst violators, check out the tollway authority's website. 

Rey didn't go into detail about how Young was found, but said a collection agency helped in the settlement, which was finalized this week.

So, who's the new No. 1 toll violator in the Metroplex now? It's a motorist named Melissa S. Martinez, whose car is registered in the 75048 ZIP code in the Garland/Sachse area. According to the tollway authority, she owes $150,865.79 for 7,355 violations.

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