ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York state is cracking down on drivers who do not pay tolls.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, the state has begun suspending the registrations of vehicles driven by persistent toll evaders in an effort to make sure motorists don’t try to cheat the system.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that the process of suspending 575 registrations has started. It is part of a policy implemented this year that allows the state to suspend registrations of those who fail to pay tolls five times in 18 months.

Cuomo said chronic toll evaders force law abiding New Yorkers to cover the cost of maintaining the state’s transportation system. AAA spokesman Robert Sinclair Jr. said the state is being cheated by the toll scofflaws.

“There is no excuse for someone using these facilities and not paying for the privilege,” he said.

The funds generated by tolls are important, he added.

“We need every dollar that we can get. We’ve got infrastructure that has to be updated and roads and bridges that need to be taken care of,” Sinclair said.

Sinclair said unpaid tolls are worth millions.

The state sends letters to the owners of vehicles caught consistently evading tolls warning them of the suspension. Owners are given the opportunity to pay their debts before the state takes action.

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