Paying tolls on your daily commute is a drop in the ocean compared to the E-ZPass bill one Virginia man drove up by ignoring them.
Jason Bourcier doesn't deny that he rode the Dulles Toll Road nightly without paying for his commute from Reston to Washington three-and-a-half years ago when he was looking for work.
A friend told him that when the toll booths were unmanned after 11:30 p.m., you could use the road without paying. His friend was wrong.
This week, VDOT took Bourcier to court because his bill had ballooned from $440 to more than $200,000, including late fees and interest. They reached a settlement and agreed on a payment plan.
“They provided me with a stack of summonses that was 12 inches high, and me and my lawyers, the best that we could do was $40,000,” he said. “Another kicker is they put me on a payment plan for $150 a month.”
At that rate and with interest due -- another $55,000 -- Bourcier, who is 33 and now has a good job, figures he will be 87 years old by the time he pays VDOT back.
"The lesson learned is to work with us if you don't have a transponder or the cash to pay a toll,” said a statement from VDOT. “Don't wait and don't ignore the notices."
Bourcier said he has learned two lessons from this.
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“One would be for state legislature to take another look at the fines and fees that they are assessing the taxpayers,” he said. “The other would be for me, and that would be don’t mess with E-ZPass."