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Managing toll violations 101

A fleet manager's No. 1 rule is to budget time wisely to efficiently manage a fleet’s vehicles and drivers to keep operations running smoothly.

Whether it’s working around driver scheduling conflicts or dealing with vehicle maintenance issues, responsibilities that require immediate attention can pile up.  

As a fleet grows, job tasks and volume can multiply. Things that were once relatively simple – like resolving occasional toll violations -- can become a snowball moving downhill and that snowball can become a mountain of its own. Depending on the number of vehicles and drivers you oversee, it can be easy to miss toll fees or violations as they arrive in the mail, and the time it takes to dispute and pay fees can keep you from focusing on your day-to-day operations. Fines and violations – and contesting them – can be a time suck. That’s why it’s so important to understand what creates those fines in the first place.  

There are many reasons fleets can receive fines. Some are due to drivers who use the wrong toll lanes or don’t comply with the rules governing the use of toll facilities, or simply failure to pay a toll fee on time. If you rely on paper toll bills, it’s easy to set aside bills and tell yourself, “I’ll get to it later,” and forget, or you have someone who must dedicate hours of time to paying them. It happens. But, if you don’t pay on time, you can expect another notice from the tolling authority with a late payment violation.  

Depending on how many vehicles are in your fleet or how far your business delivers goods, there are several other reasons you might receive toll violation: using a toll lane without a valid or deactivated transponder; using an in-state transponder for an out-of-state toll; entering an express or toll lane improperly; using a toll lane with insufficient funds in your transponder account; accessing a toll lane in a vehicle other than the registered fleet vehicle on the toll pass; using a toll lane with an unregistered vehicle or using a transponder that has not been mounted properly.

While drivers shouldn’t break these general guidelines, every state has different toll rules. Knowing what can cause a toll violation in the states and locations drivers are using toll roads in is critical. 

If/when you receive a violation, there are things you can do to manage it and ensure it’s been rightfully issued.