Woman challenges VDOT over tolls and wins

By Diane Walker - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - An update now on our story about a woman accused of running tolls. VDOT took her to court, over three toll violations totaling 75 cents, and lost.

Sharon Mount had maintained all along, she's no toll runner. "There's hundreds and hundreds of these cases that are in the court system." The courts can collect hundreds of dollars for first, second and third offenses.

"The amount of time I've wasted on this for 75 cents, the fact that I have to take a day off without pay just to defend 75 cents. I've already paid it. I've got a receipt that shows that and what they want is more money," says Sharon Mount.

Sharon says she's no toll runner. She's had a smart tag on her car since 2000 and blames faulty VDOT equipment, for clocking her with three missed 25 cent tolls in 2008. VDOT says it monitors its equipment and most often the motorist's Smart Tag account is in the red.

"The key is having an account that's in good standing. I'm sure there are some accounts out there that aren't active that do not have the positive balances," says Shannon Marshall, EZ-PASS spokesperson for VDOT.

The judge did underscore this: motorists who don't have smart tag linked to their bank accounts, who must manually replenish their EZ-PASS accounts, are violating VDOT standards, if they allow the balance to go negative even for a day.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.