Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Florida Toll Road Sued for Holding Motorists Hostage

  1. #1
    Staff
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    3,126

    Florida Toll Road Sued for Holding Motorists Hostage

    Federal class action lawsuit against Florida toll roads for unlawfully detaining motorists who pay cash.

    A group of motorists earlier this month filed a federal class action lawsuit against Florida's toll road system for detaining motorists who attempt to pay the tolls with cash. About 600 miles worth of toll roads and bridges are under the jurisdiction of The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), which hands operational duties over to the private firm Faneuil, Inc., which is responsible for the toll collectors. The complaint charges both firms with false imprisonment and other civil rights violations.

    "For approximately four years, FDOT and Faneuil have engaged in a practice of detaining motorists and their passengers on the Turnpike System until such motorists provided certain personal information in exchange for their release," attorney James C. Valenti wrote on behalf of the plaintiffs. "The motorists and passengers have been detained without their consent and without legal justification."

    Under FDOT policies, motorists who pay with $50 bills, and sometimes even $5 bills, are not given permission to proceed until the toll collector fills out a "Bill Detection Report" with data about the motorist's vehicle and details from his driver's license. Those unwilling to provide personal information to the toll collector are offered no alternative because the toll collector will not open the barrier, preventing the car from moving forward. FDOT policy does not allow passengers to exit their vehicle, and backing up is illegal and usually impossible while other cars wait behind. Some of those paying in cash object to the idea of carrying the SunPass toll transponder on privacy grounds, but the use of cash is discouraged because it increases operating costs.

    "The policy of detaining motorists without their consent and without legal justification extended throughout the Turnpike System and was so permanent and well settled that it constituted custom, practice or policy which has the force of law and rises to the level of deliberate indifference to plaintiff's and class members' constitutional rights," Valenti wrote. "It is believed that Defendants will continue the widespread practice of unlawful detentions and will continue to force vehicle occupants to provide personal information in exchange for their release, all in violation of plaintiffs' and class plaintiffs' Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights."

    An estimated 262,800 drivers have been detained since October 2006. The lawsuit seeks an injunction prohibiting Faneuil and FDOT from further detaining motorists. Neither FDOT nor Faneuil has answered the February 8 complaint.

  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,998
    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    Federal class action lawsuit against Florida toll roads for unlawfully detaining motorists who pay cash.

    A group of motorists earlier this month filed a federal class action lawsuit against Florida's toll road system for detaining motorists who attempt to pay the tolls with cash. About 600 miles worth of toll roads and bridges are under the jurisdiction of The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), which hands operational duties over to the private firm Faneuil, Inc., which is responsible for the toll collectors. The complaint charges both firms with false imprisonment and other civil rights violations.

    "For approximately four years, FDOT and Faneuil have engaged in a practice of detaining motorists and their passengers on the Turnpike System until such motorists provided certain personal information in exchange for their release," attorney James C. Valenti wrote on behalf of the plaintiffs. "The motorists and passengers have been detained without their consent and without legal justification."

    Under FDOT policies, motorists who pay with $50 bills, and sometimes even $5 bills, are not given permission to proceed until the toll collector fills out a "Bill Detection Report" with data about the motorist's vehicle and details from his driver's license. Those unwilling to provide personal information to the toll collector are offered no alternative because the toll collector will not open the barrier, preventing the car from moving forward. FDOT policy does not allow passengers to exit their vehicle, and backing up is illegal and usually impossible while other cars wait behind. Some of those paying in cash object to the idea of carrying the SunPass toll transponder on privacy grounds, but the use of cash is discouraged because it increases operating costs.

    "The policy of detaining motorists without their consent and without legal justification extended throughout the Turnpike System and was so permanent and well settled that it constituted custom, practice or policy which has the force of law and rises to the level of deliberate indifference to plaintiff's and class members' constitutional rights," Valenti wrote. "It is believed that Defendants will continue the widespread practice of unlawful detentions and will continue to force vehicle occupants to provide personal information in exchange for their release, all in violation of plaintiffs' and class plaintiffs' Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights."

    An estimated 262,800 drivers have been detained since October 2006. The lawsuit seeks an injunction prohibiting Faneuil and FDOT from further detaining motorists. Neither FDOT nor Faneuil has answered the February 8 complaint.
    I hope they win; it's another "precedent moment." If they don't, then were one step closer to being required to carry some sort of transponder in our vehicles - something I suspect the Assholes who run this country most desperately want to happen.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    335
    It's going to be moot pretty soon.
    The FL Turnpike is rolling out license plate recognition systems. As of now, in Miami-Dade County, you roll through the tollbooths without stopping. If you don't have a transponder, the car's owner gets a bill, including a processing fee, in the mail. You _can't_ pay cash; they are getting rid of the booths and the attendants.

  4. #4
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Front Royal, VA
    Posts
    1,606
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHalloran View Post
    It's going to be moot pretty soon.
    The FL Turnpike is rolling out license plate recognition systems. As of now, in Miami-Dade County, you roll through the tollbooths without stopping. If you don't have a transponder, the car's owner gets a bill, including a processing fee, in the mail. You _can't_ pay cash; they are getting rid of the booths and the attendants.
    You just can't beat automated billing! I love it...

    It's only going to get better from here.

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
    -Mussolini
    All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

  5. #5
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,998
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHalloran View Post
    It's going to be moot pretty soon.
    The FL Turnpike is rolling out license plate recognition systems. As of now, in Miami-Dade County, you roll through the tollbooths without stopping. If you don't have a transponder, the car's owner gets a bill, including a processing fee, in the mail. You _can't_ pay cash; they are getting rid of the booths and the attendants.
    Sigh. Another sign of the times.

    I'll bet you it's only a matter of time before they use this technology to "catch speeders" and so on.

    How do I go back in time 30 years or so?

    The future sucks ass.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Posts
    282
    Isn't this just great for a road that was built in 1957 and was to be a toll road for 20yrs untill the original construction was paid for....LOL

    When it opened you could drive the whole length, Miami to Wildwood, for about $1.50. Now it costs over $5.00 to go from Miami to Homestead and back.... Progress!

  7. #7
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,191
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHalloran View Post
    It's going to be moot pretty soon.
    The FL Turnpike is rolling out license plate recognition systems. As of now, in Miami-Dade County, you roll through the tollbooths without stopping. If you don't have a transponder, the car's owner gets a bill, including a processing fee, in the mail. You _can't_ pay cash; they are getting rid of the booths and the attendants.

    Indiana has already done this. If you go west from Mt. Vernon Indiana, the toll booth is gone. You MUST have an EZPASS toll payment system. A camera takes a picture of your plate. You get one free pass. After that they send you a bill. Small businesses are getting hammered by people who go smewhere else as they don't want to pay all thjat money and only cross the bridge once or twice.
    Honk if you love Jesus.

    Text if you want to meet him.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    335
    I have a SunPass. Unfortunately it doesn't interoperate with EZPASS systems.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    1,429
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Sigh. Another sign of the times.

    I'll bet you it's only a matter of time before they use this technology to "catch speeders" and so on.

    How do I go back in time 30 years or so?

    The future sucks ass.
    Our money used to say "All Debts... public and private" I wish someone with enough time/money would challange this act!

  10. #10
    Senior Member J. ZIMM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    THE HIGH DESERT, OREGON
    Posts
    371
    Just how in the hell does one travel across this once so great nation??? Toll Booths non existent, Money's no good, Transponders don't recognize other programs, what State is that Plate from??? National Lampoons Vacation looks better all the time.

  11. #11
    Staff
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    3,126
    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    You just can't beat automated billing! I love it...

    It's only going to get better from here.
    You can beat the automated plate system with this:

    www.tricplate.com

  12. #12
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    455
    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    You can beat the automated plate system with this:

    www.tricplate.com
    I need one of those!

  13. #13
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    455
    Good for them. It makes no sense for Florida to not have toll booths that accept cash considering the number of visitors to the state every year. Those who drive in from out-of-state will likely not have a Sun Pass and have no other alternative but to pay in cash.

    I see that Florida is doing the same thing that Texas is doing: making roads that have already been paid for into cash cows for some "other entity".

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Daytona Beach, FL
    Posts
    282
    Quote Originally Posted by J. ZIMM View Post
    Just how in the hell does one travel across this once so great nation??? Toll Booths non existent, Money's no good, Transponders don't recognize other programs, what State is that Plate from??? National Lampoons Vacation looks better all the time.
    Now this is scarry! I just received a bill from the FLA DOT. I guess my Harley looks like an SUV pulling a boat trailer! The dumb gooberment aholes miss read the tag number and sent me the bill. Over $4.00 bill for a vehicle I don't own in a place I wasn't. Gooberment response? Sorry, check back next week to see if it's cleared up.

    If you don't qualify for a real job, work for the gooberment!

  15. #15
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,191
    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    You can beat the automated plate system with this:

    www.tricplate.com

    Unfortunately, Indiana forbids anything over the plate. You can't even have a clear cover. The renewal tags must be exposed and uncovered. It's good as a primary stop because car thieves used to play tricks back in the 70's and it's never been changed.
    Honk if you love Jesus.

    Text if you want to meet him.

  16. #16
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,191
    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieCLU View Post
    Now this is scarry! I just received a bill from the FLA DOT. I guess my Harley looks like an SUV pulling a boat trailer! The dumb gooberment aholes miss read the tag number and sent me the bill. Over $4.00 bill for a vehicle I don't own in a place I wasn't. Gooberment response? Sorry, check back next week to see if it's cleared up.

    If you don't qualify for a real job, work for the gooberment!

    A local guy got a ticket from New Jersey. He hadn't ever been there, the plate had the same numbers as his but in the picture, his Toyota Camry became a bus. Indiana used to have unique numbers with the county prefix, followed by a letter then a number. That was too easy to read and they changed everything to be like the rest of the country.
    Honk if you love Jesus.

    Text if you want to meet him.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    Indiana has already done this. If you go west from Mt. Vernon Indiana, the toll booth is gone. You MUST have an EZPASS toll payment system. A camera takes a picture of your plate. You get one free pass. After that they send you a bill. Small businesses are getting hammered by people who go smewhere else as they don't want to pay all thjat money and only cross the bridge once or twice.
    Yup; saw the same thing on my way home from Kalamazoo MI to NoVA - good thing i-Zoom took my Virginia EZPass.
    If we should give Abraham Lincoln credit for uniting America, then we should give Adolf Hitler credit for uniting Europe, as both men used the same methods for the same goals.

  18. #18
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    455
    The same thing is happening in Texas. In our new hometown of Katy, part of Interstate 10 is now a toll road, the "Katy Tollway". This is an interstate highway that has already been paid for, but now that they have made 'improvements' and widened the lanes, they converted it into a toll road....in perpetuity.

    And recently, in the Dallas area, all of the toll roads have converted to cashless payment...i.e.: they no longer accept cash in any form. In this way, travelers coming in from another area of the state or country are caught unawares. The tolling entity (owned by a Spanish company, btw) photographs their license plate and sends them a bill for the tolls they incur. If travelers have a tolltag, the rates are about half of the rate for those without a tolltag. So, they bilk the unaware travelers at nearly twice the rate for each toll. Talk about a scam!

    Texas is the pilot state for this toll road raping of the masses, so brace yourselves. Coming soon to your own home state!

  19. #19
    Senior Member BrentP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    123
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHalloran View Post
    It's going to be moot pretty soon.
    The FL Turnpike is rolling out license plate recognition systems. As of now, in Miami-Dade County, you roll through the tollbooths without stopping. If you don't have a transponder, the car's owner gets a bill, including a processing fee, in the mail. You _can't_ pay cash; they are getting rid of the booths and the attendants.
    The plate recognition systems are already advanced and working the transponders aren't really needed at all. Somewhere on one of my attempts with a blog to write regularly I wrote of grim motoring future of the US... all old cars have been banned and crushed... the good roads are reserved for those with the right political connections... cars track and report everything... If there's an interest I can find it and put it on URant... I wrote it two different ways... one just as predictive of a dystopia the other about a law breaker who still had an ancient car hidden away.

    Now that it is 2011... I am somewhat surprised that the Illinois toll road authority isn't using IPASS to issue speeding tickets yet. Their incompetence must have made syncing the clocks impossible or something. Or perhaps they still fear revolt.

    Quote Originally Posted by eesquared View Post
    And recently, in the Dallas area, all of the toll roads have converted to cashless payment...i.e.: they no longer accept cash in any form. In this way, travelers coming in from another area of the state or country are caught unawares. The tolling entity (owned by a Spanish company, btw) photographs their license plate and sends them a bill for the tolls they incur. If travelers have a tolltag, the rates are about half of the rate for those without a tolltag. So, they bilk the unaware travelers at nearly twice the rate for each toll. Talk about a scam!

    Texas is the pilot state for this toll road raping of the masses, so brace yourselves. Coming soon to your own home state!
    Illinois still allows paying cash... it just costs double. I think the toll road authority here was the first in the nation to do that. This is why I figured cashless only and then time-distance speeding tickets would follow once most people had IPASS.

    While the toll road authority is one giant theft machine Texas has been sounding worse in recent years. In Illinois they actually want to raise tolls on existing toll roads to pay for NEW toll roads. Which is pretty absurd... the tolls are supposed to be to pay for the road you're currently using... not the road you're currently using and some other road many miles away.
    Last edited by BrentP; 06-23-2011 at 11:39 PM.

Similar Threads

  1. Florida tags
    By misterdecibel in forum Motor Mouth
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-06-2011, 08:56 AM
  2. Discover Channel Hostage Situation
    By dom in forum Survival/Economic Collapse
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-01-2010, 09:40 PM
  3. From Hope To Barely Holding On
    By Eric in forum Survival/Economic Collapse
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-23-2010, 11:09 AM
  4. Ford sued over not so limited edition Roush Mustangs
    By Eric in forum Performance/Muscle Cars
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-22-2008, 02:14 PM
  5. Toll Roads
    By swamprat in forum Fight Traffic Tickets/Driving Issues
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-20-2008, 04:06 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •