Tens of thousands of Maryland residents have been calling for an investigation into the E-ZPass billing system, and now people in northern Virginia have been contacting FOX 5 with the same problems.
E-ZPass is a way to pay tolls electronically, but some people are racking up hundreds of dollars in fees without receiving a notice.
Arlington resident Joe spoke to FOX 5 saying he had $650 in fees.
"I do think E-ZPass technology could be updated especially on how they manage our accounts," he says. "I paid it just to be done with it, but it did frustrate me a little bit that, knowing that there probably are people out there suffering through the pandemic who probably can’t pay for this and their fines just keep building up and building up, and they weren’t given an opportunity to address their violations by receiving a notice."
Last week, FOX 5 reported E-ZPass users have been getting toll bills from 2020 and 2021, charged late fees without having received any notices, and some say they’re being charged more than once, according to a Change.org petition with more than 20,000 signatures.
Joe says he received four toll violations from both 2020 and 2021 that were automatically slammed onto his account without any warning.
He even called asking if he had an outstanding balance and was told no. However, in January 2022, the same thing happened again, and he got two more notices with late fees.
FOX 5 contacted the Virginia Department of Transportation who says people with concerns should contact E-ZPass directly.
A Virginia Beach delegate tried to move a bill forward during the General Assembly that would require VDOT to offer E-ZPass customers an opt-in and opt-out option for getting electronic notices when they have a low balance or fees are adding up.
The proposal didn't go anywhere, but Joe says that's the type of solution he would like to see.
"I think it would really help keep the amount of fees that you may owe for violations to E-ZPass if you get a text, e-mail, or reminder saying, ‘Hey you just went through a toll where you have insufficient funds so replenish your account,'" he says.
FOX 5 also reached out to E-ZPass and Transurban, but has not heard back.