Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEWORLEANS- Tolls rolled off the Crescent City Connection Bridge months ago, but they are still a source of aggravation for many drivers.

There's an amnesty program now in place allowing toll violators to resolve outstanding tickets by paying only the one dollar toll and not the fine.

As the amnesty program winds to a close, drivers want to know how to contest their tickets. State Representative Pat Connick, R-LA says right now, you can't.

'If you do fight it, you've got to have a mechanism to fight it and right now there's none,' said Connick. 'Those who have paid for years and had toll tags for years, they're the ones being punished as we speak.'

Connick sent an email to Transportation Secretary Sherri LeBas asking why there was no way for drivers to fight their alleged violation on the CCC.

She responded by saying, 'With the repeal of the old law and the failure of a referendum there is no longer an appeal process to be administered by DOTD.'

Marrero resident William O'Donnell is one of about 22,000 people notified of violations dating back to 2010.

He says not being able to contest the violations violates his due process rights.

'You can't send me a ticket or a violation and say this is it, you can't dispute it,' said O'Donnell. 'Due process is the basis of our society. You get a ticket, you go to court.'

He reluctantly paid his tickets even though he says he always kept a balance in his toll tag account.

'Reality sets in and when someone puts on a piece of paper we're going to prosecute from the Department of Justice over 40 cents a passing,' said O'Donnell. 'You kind of want to say do I want to go through all of this? Do I want to put up a fight? In my case it was a couple of dollars.'

Connick received notification of three violations. He paid up as well.

'My wife went ahead and paid the 40 cents to be done with it,' said Connick.

All remaining toll violations will be turned over to the state attorney general's office September 30.

Representative Connick is now asking the AG to put a stop on all collections until the state can determine if those violations are valid. He says that's something DOTD should have done before bothering toll payers with three-year-old tickets.

'What they should have done is gone to the AG and say this is what we have. We have a major problem within our own system. We have these tickets that have not been sent out since 2010. We don't know if these tickets are valid or not. Do we legally have to send these out?'

Meanwhile, the toll amnesty program ends October 1.

Read or Share this story: