Express Lane Settlement Puts $1 Million Back Into Pockets of Virginia Drivers

Drivers who say they were charged thousands of dollars in unfair penalties and fees when they used the I-495 and I-95 Express Lanes in northern Virginia, now say they are taking a victory lap.

A settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit with lane operator Transurban about the administration of fees and penalties for toll violations in Virginia. More than $1 million in fines will be handed back to drivers.

Kevin Stanfield and his wife said they were hit with $2,200 in penalties because their E-ZPass was linked to a credit card that had expired. They said they weren't notified in time.

Stanfield is one of many drivers who will receive about 70 percent back of what he paid.

"Ordinary people can affect change and that's what this is all about," Stanfield said. "Personally, I think we're getting like 19-hundred dollars back."

Customers who paid from $100 to $300 in fees and penalties may be entitled to a $10 refund, and customers who paid more than $300 in administrative fees and/or civil penalties could receive a refund of 70 percent of the amount paid in excess of $300.

"Ultimately, we've come to what we think is a great solution not only for us, but for our customers as well," said Mike McGurk, a spokesperson for Transurban.

McGurk said in addition to refunds, drivers who do miss a toll on the lanes will now have more time to correct that mistake.

Transurban is expected to release new initiatives to enable customers to sign up for missed toll email alerts, as well as increase Virginia E-ZPass customers' time from five to 10 days to pay missed toll amounts before facing any additional fees. Transurban said it will also wait at least 90 days before sending violations to debt collection.

A judge is expected to approve the settlement this summer.

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