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NJ Turnpike Authority Moves Forward With Toll Cheat Crackdown

Trucks and cars drive down the New Jersey Turnpike. (Photo/file by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Trucks and cars drive down the New Jersey Turnpike. (Photo/file by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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WOODBRIDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – New Jersey highway officials are continuing their crackdown on chronic toll cheaters.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority has agreed to pay the state Motor Vehicles Commission up to $35,000 to process vehicle registration suspensions for drivers who owe more than $1,000 in unpaid tolls and fees.

“By combining our resources and working together, the state will now be better able to track down those drivers who made a conscious decision to circumvent the system over and over instead of paying their fair share when traveling the toll roads of our state,” MVC Chairman and Chief Administrator Raymond Martinez said in a statement on the Turnpike Authority’s website.

The move comes a few weeks after the authority started posting the names of top violators on its website.

Officials have said 130 companies and individuals, who owe about $2.5 million overall, were targeted under a pilot program launched last month.

Longhorn Transport LLC of Newark was identified as the worst offender by the Turnpike Authority with 2,652 violations and $116,281 owed.

EXTRA: Click Here To See The Full List

Violators received letters warning them that their registrations would be suspended if they didn’t pay what they owe or make other settlement arrangements.

Fines for driving with a suspended registration can be as high as $1,000.

“Since they’ve ignored every notice we’ve sent and every effort we’ve made to collect, now they’ll have to face the consequences,” Turnpike Authority chairman James Simpson said last month. “It’s not fair to the honest drivers who pay what they owe to let these tolls go unpaid.”

Thirty-one violators have since made some payments, but letters sent to another 18 came back as undeliverable.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey released a similar list in February of its top toll violators who have failed to pay between $7,000 and $166,000 in tolls and now owe between $30,000 and $1.78 million each.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)