Abinanti Admonishes Governor on “Tollpayer Protection Act” Veto

Tarrytown – Assemblyman Tom Abinanti (D-Greenburgh/Mt. Pleasant) today admonished Governor Cuomo for his veto of the “Tollpayer Protection Act,” (A7587/S6113) which would codify a process for notifying drivers about tolls and fines and ensure drivers due process in the Tolls by Mail system.

“For the second year in a row, the Governor missed the opportunity to legalize an unlawful Tolls by Mail system, which has been put in place with no statutory authorization,” said Assemblyman Abinanti. “Just as importantly, the Governor ignored the need to make sure that motorists get proper notice of tolls, due process to contest erroneous tolls and protection against excessive penalties – and the need to ensure that motorists’ data is safeguarded.”

The legislation was created after numerous reports from constituents about the chaotic cashless tolling system on the Tappan Zee Bridge and other places on the New York State Thruway. There were reports of late fees in the hundreds of dollars and collection efforts by collection agencies although the driver was never notified of any outstanding balance. Media reports further described families who were left on the side of the road after their cars were seized as a result of a registration suspension from outstanding cashless toll fees.

Just last week, Abinanti issued a legislative report highlighting the need for this legislation.

“The ongoing chaotic system has been unlawfully imposing excessive fines and confiscating vehicles of motorists who fail to pay a toll- in some cases where they did not get a bill,” said Assemblyman Abinanti. “New York motorists deserve to be treated fairly and should not be victimized by a defective, unlawful Tolls by Mail system.”