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CATA resolves flood of toll violation notices

November 15, 2010

By Dave Sloan, CATA Executive Vice President

Staff members from the CATA and the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association have been working with the Illinois Tollway regarding the wave of toll violation notices sent this summer to many automobile dealers. We are pleased to report that an agreement has been reached that will allow dealers relief from the fines.

Our intent was to negotiate an agreement short of dealers having to place a transponder in every dealership vehicle because of the administrative difficulty such a policy would cause. While the Tollway could not agree to our request at this time, they compromised by requiring dealers to purchase transponders only for those dealer plates associated with a violation notice. 

Therefore, if you contact the Tollway by Oct. 15 and buy a transponder for those plates that have been sent a violation notice dated Aug. 5-Oct. 15, 2009, you only will have to pay the cash rate tolls; the fines will be dismissed.  (Dealers who do not yet have an I-PASS account will have to register for one, as well.)  Each account must be backed by a valid credit card.

Please be advised, however, that dealers must ensure that every dealership-plated vehicle using the Tollway either pays cash or has a transponder in it—whether the transponder is owned by the dealer, a dealer employee or the customer—to avoid a violation notice.  If the dealership receives a violation notice, the dealer would have a 21-day grace period to purchase a transponder for that particular lettered plate to avoid paying the fines.

Please note that if you have a number of dealership plates which have not been involved in a violation, or your violations notices have been previously resolved, you will not have to buy transponders for those plates unless you receive a future violation while using those plates.

That is why it is important for your dealership to have a policy that those dealer vehicles using the Tollway be equipped with a transponder owned either by an employee, a customer or the dealership.

The Tollway has designated a handful of customer service representatives to handle this process. Call (630) 241-5497 and have your dealership information and violation notices ready. They will take down your information, route it to the appropriate representative and then contact you back to minimize your inconvenience.

Dennis O’Keefe, the CATA’s general counsel, developed a rider for dealers to add to their rentals and loaners paperwork. The rider would indemnify a dealer from fines a customer causes on a toll road; from other traffic violations, like cameras that detect speeding and red-light violations; and parking tickets.

The rider would authorize the dealership to charge any police fines to the customer’s credit card. A copy of the rider is included in the print edition of this newsletter.

 

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