Christine Lee, NBC 5 Irving Reporter
The North Texas Tollway Authority board approved a plan to ban habitual toll violators from being able to register their vehicles until they pay all outstanding tolls.
The agency in charge of North Texas' toll roads says it's taking steps to ban perpetual toll scofflaws.
The North Texas Tollway Authority said Wednesday that it would ban any drivers with 100 or more unpaid tolls.
The NTTA considers about 70,000 drivers to be habitual violators and says it has about $50 million in unpaid tolls.
"They're just ignoring step after step, and they're basically saying 'I'm going to drive where I want, when I want and I'm not going to pay for it.' That's not going to work," said NTTA spokesman Michael Rey.
Starting next year, scofflaws pulled over on an NTTA road will face a ticket and a fine up to $500. Those who then continue to use tollways without paying could have their vehicles impounded until fines are paid.
"I think it's a great idea. I think they should be impounded," said Arlington resident Jason Mynatt. "I have to pay to drive it every day, so I think everyone else should have to."
Meanwhile other drivers said fees leveled by the NTTA are too much.
"The thing that concerns me was the fees that they'll assess if you don't get it paid on time. A $10 bill turns into a $300 bill," said DeSoto resident Keith Hooks. Hooks doesn't use toll roads often, but he went to the NTTA to make sure he didn't have any outstanding fines.
"I think it's crazy. They already charge so much, you know, to travel through their highways and I think it's ridiculous," said Grand Prairie resident Richards Lopez.
Rey said vehicle ban notices will be sent out to all habitual toll violators in North Texas.
A handful of Department of Public Safety vehicles will have automatic license plate scanners to help track down scofflaws.
NTTA operates more than 90 miles of toll roads in North Texas including the Dallas North Tollway, President George Bush Turnpike, Addison Airport Toll Tunnel, Mountain Creek Lake Bridge, Sam Rayburn Tollway and the Lewisville Lake Toll Bridge.