The noon deadline was to avoid a public shaming the department says is necessary in order to recover $27 million in unpaid tolls.
Officials say they've sent notices to 28,000 vehicle owners who have more than 100 unpaid tolls. Tomorrow, the names of the top 25 violators will be released. Those who don't pay up will find their names published on the TxDOT.gov web site. Some of the offenders have thousands in unpaid tolls.
In addition to publishing the names of the scofflaws, the department may also ban the vehicles from all toll roads and impound the vehicle if police stop it. TxDOT can also notify county tax assessors to block vehicle owners from renewing their registrations.
"It is unfair to ask lawful toll road users to offset the revenue lost to those who abuse the system," said Larry Phillips, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee. "I applaud this action and am glad money collected will go toward paying debt and operations."
According to the Harris County Toll Road Authority, this only applies to state toll roads. The state has a large toll road presence in Austin and Dallas. In the Houston area, it operators an 8.8-mile section of tollroad in Chambers County.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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