IRVINE (CNS) - Motorists who use any Orange County toll road, forgetting they can't pay cash anymore, will get a break from penalties through Labor Day if they pay up within a month, the Transportation Corridor Agency announced today.
Earlier today, Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer called on the agency, which oversees the county's tollways, to put a moratorium on fines through Labor Day, with the agency agreeing to the request late in the day, Lisa Telles, the agency's chief communications officer said.
Since the agency took out all of the cash-only booths, about 15,000 motorists each day have been driving on the toll roads without paying out of 250,000 motorists that use the toll roads each day, Telles said.
Before going cash-less, about 87 percent of drivers had signed up with a prepaid account known as FasTrak that works by using a transponder.
Now there are other options that allow motorists to register credit card or billing information and they can either pre-pay or receive a bill later.
Or, if motorists have not registered ahead of time they can call the agency within 48 hours and pay with a credit card before getting a citation.
Spitzer wanted the grace period extended to allow the agency more time to inform the public that they can no longer pay cash on the tollways.
The agency has put up more signs alerting motorists they have to prepay or register to be billed if they use the 73, 133, 241 or 261 toll roads.
Part of the problem is Orange County draws many tourists and occasional visitors to the Southland, so local publicity may not have reached them, Telles said. Now if a motorist doesn't pay while using a toll road through Labor Day they will receive a notice with information on how to sign up for the alternative payment methods.