TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Before jacking up truck tolls 45 percent on the New York State Thruway and raising the toll at the Tappan Zee Bridge to pay for a new bridge, how about cracking down on toll cheats?

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams On The Story

That’s the advice from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

The Journal News got out the calculator and found that, from 2007 to 2011, the New York State Thruway Authority lost $35 million in unpaid tolls and fines.

$7 million of that was lost at the Tappan Zee Bridge, where truck drivers feel like they’re being cheated.

“I don’t know how they do it, but they cheat going through the tolls. Meanwhile us truck drivers have to pay more,” one told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams on Monday morning.

One of the big problems is going after out-of-state drivers and rental cars.

DiNapoli says he has made recommendations and only a few have been adopted. For its part, the Thruway Authority says it collects 99.6 percent of all tolls.

“Toll violators cheat all other motorists traveling on the New York State Thruway,” agency spokesman Daniel Weiller told the Journal News. “While we do collect 99.6 percent of all tolls, any lost dollars are important because the Thruway receives no state financial support and therefore is dependent upon toll revenues to maintain the safety and reliability of the 574-mile superhighway.”

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