Maine Turnpike Authority says truckers are racking up unpaid tolls
PORTLAND (WGME) – Truckers are racking unpaid tolls on the turnpike.
It's an issue the Maine Turnpike Authority says costs them thousands of dollars each year.
The Maine Turnpike relies on their tolls.
Most tractor trailers pay at least four times what you pay for your car.
Trucker toll evading is an issue the MTA says they see all too often.
" We can often times eventually catch up with them, but it can take more effort," Peter Mills said.
That money adds up.
Right now, the turnpike's top 10 violators owe almost $13,000 in total.
Officials wouldn't identify those individuals, but say one trucking company from Rhode Island owes about $7,000.
One of their truckers even used the turnpike as recently as last week, without paying.
"We'll get him, he's probably next on the list, he just happens to be the latest high roller," Mills said.
One of those alleged high-rollers was arrested by state police back in May.
Investigators say Danny Olson of Turner racked up more than $1,300 in unpaid tolls in his tractor trailer.
"People don't run up more than $1,000 in tolls without eventually being caught," Mills said.
CBS 13 stopped by Olson's home to ask why he wasn't paying, but there was no answer.
Officers believe Olson was avoiding the tolls by illegally attaching different license plates to his truck, one they say even belonged to someone who was dead.
Troopers caught him at a weigh station.
"We'll have troopers analyze possibly the times and dates that person may be going through, if it's a consistent pattern," Lt. Erik Baker said.
State police say Olson may owe thousands of dollars in tolls to other states as well.
"They'll run right through Maine, right through Massachusetts, down into New York come back up again,” Mills said.
The turnpike has their own way of tracking toll evaders down.
Along with sending out pay-by-plate bills, the MTA also partners with Massachusetts and New Hampshire to suspend registrations of out of state evaders, but some states and parts of Canada won't cooperate.
While most unpaid tolls usually only add up to less than $100.
The turnpike makes every effort to get that money back.